British Climate Act ‘failed before it started’

London's Big BenThe British Climate Act is flawed and comprised of unrealistic and unobtainable targets, writes US academic Roger A Pielke Jr, in a journal paper published today, 18 June, 2009, in IOP Publishing’s Environmental Research Letters.

As Pielke, a professor of environmental studies at the Centre for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, points out, no one knows how fast a major economy can decarbonise and policy therefore needs to focus less on targets and timetables that no one can be sure of reaching, and more on the tangible process for achieving goals such as the development of clean technologies that will be crucial in the decarbonising process.

In order to decrease carbon emissions, countries essentially only have four options: reducing their population, cutting back economic activity, taking positive steps to increase energy efficient technologies, or expanding the role of less carbon intensive energy sources.

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