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To: Alok Sharma - COP26 President
Get the government to stop funding in fossil fuels and to invest in true green energy souces instead
The government is currently planning to spend billions of pounds investing in the burning of fossil fuels which will add to our carbon footprint rather than reduce it (if truly honest carbon accounting methods are used).
Firstly I am shocked to learn that they are favouring investment in the "dirty" blue hydrogen by supporting gas companies to convert naturalgas to blue hydrogen. I believe this process produces 20% more carbon than just using the natural gas itself.
Secondly they are encouraging the licensing of new oil and gas fields in the North Sea and are supporting this with investment. This at a time when we are supposed to be moving away from fossil fuels not encouraging their growing and continuing use.
Thirdly I am appalled to hear that the Drax power station is run by burning biomass (trees to the rest of us) and that this generates some 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. What is worse is that we use dubious accounting methods to state that this is a "carbon neutral" operation! Clearly it is not and just passing the carbon debt to the country from which the trees originate is shameful and dishonest. But on top of this this extremely "dirty" power station receives generous financial assistance from the government and future funding has also been earmarked for this terrible polluter.
Whilst all of this unhelpful investment and funding is planned there are two green enrgy industries that are deasperate for support so that they can move from proven successes at trial stages to a genuine upscaling to a level whch would make them more economic and add contribute massively to our attempts to achieve carbon neutral status.
These are the green hydrogen industry (e.g. ITM, Melrose etc) where pilots are already showing the value of this technology and we are one of the world leaders in this work.
The other is tidal power where, again, there are successful small scale operations running in the seas off Scotland but there is a desperate need for investment to take this technology to the next level. This is a prime area for an island nation to invest in - much more reliable in our climate than sun or wind as the tides are entirely predictable. Yet I hear that the government is not only failing to invest in this area but is actively preventing future developments (the Welsh Assembly wants to pursue tidal power but cannot without the goverments permission to use the seas around Wales. Something that this goverment inexplicably will not grant).
So the proposal is to redirect the billions currently earmarked for investment in fossil fuel energy sources to these true green energy sources.
We must not make the same mistake as we did with wind power. We were once world leaders in the early development of this technology but through failing to invest fell well behind. We now have a massive windpower infrastructure which relies on hardware shipped in from across the world at great expense and with a massive carbon footprint. We could instead have had a flourishing idustry employing thousands and exporting to other countries. A true green expansion in the economy.
Lets not make this mistake again by investing in jobs for a carbon neutral future.
Why is this important?
The current plans and accounting methods used by our government to meet the challenging targets for 2030 and 2050 are more blah blah! and greenwashing than they are real plans to achieve a carbon neutral future. Comparisons with other countries in this scenario are unhelpful as we "export" our carbon footprint and pretend to be leading the world in cutting emissions when the truth is far from this. We need a proper plan which clearly outlines HOW we are going to make progress and WHAT we are going to spend on it.