These days, you always know which side to take, when you read that "environmentalists condemned…". And here they go again. According to the Independent today, "environmentalists condemned the government for starting a court case against the EU commission yesterday to try to raise Britain's carbon emissions allowance."
Readers will recall that at the beginning of this year, the ultimate of bureaucratic absurdities came in - the EU-inspired Emissions Trading Scheme. Under this scheme, key industries are allocated quotas for carbon emissions – drawn from a national allocation - and, if they the exceed them, have to purchase quota from operations who have quota to spare through a convoluted market system.
The problem for the government, as we set out in a previous posting, is that it initially set the total UK limit at 736 million ton of carbon dioxide, under the national allocation plan to cover the 2005-07 period but, after stern words from the CBI, realised that it had under-estimated the limit and had put British industry at a severe commercial disadvantage compared with our continental "partners".
The government thus decided to revise the limit and notified the commission – which is administering the scheme – that it wanted an allocation of 756 million tons. Only then did it find that it had passed the deadline for revisions. Predictably, environment commissioner, Stavros Dimas, he say "no".
So it has come to pass that the UK is arguing the toss in the ECJ, expending yet more taxpayers' cash in the process, while the fatuous Germana Canzi, the "climate change campaigner" at Friends of the Earth, bleats that even the lower allocation is too high, saying that it is "the 10th most generous in Europe." Perhaps it has not occurred to the dim little Germana that we are the fourth largest economy in the world.
And of course, if we really wanted to make a serious dent in carbon emissions, there is one sure way to do it – nuclear power. But then, these half-witted environmental campaigners wouldn’t want that, would they?