Fossil fuel subsidies pay the polluter instead of making the polluter pay!

All of us are becoming increasingly aware of respiratory and heart disease from polluting emissions.

Now health campaigners say the energy policies of the world’s richest countries are inflicting a double burden on their citizens, not only using their taxes to pay fossil fuel subsidies, but also loading huge health costs on them.

The Health and Environment Alliance, HEAL report says that although fossil fuel combustion causes deadly air pollution and climate change, virtually all governments spend vast sums of public money – their citizens’ taxes – on supporting the oil, gas and coal industry in fossil fuel energy production.

The G20 agreed in 2009 to phase out the subsidies, but HEAL says that on average, in countries belonging to the bloc, the health costs associated with fossil fuels are far greater than the subsidies: US$2,758bn against $444bn. How big are our subsidies? 

This infographic doesn’t show the direct effect of pollutants from burning fossil fuels but looking just at climate change in itself, there is much food for thought. 

World has three years left to stop dangerous climate change, warn experts

On Saturday some of us will be writing messages on Climate Change in a metalwork art workshop with Norfolk artist, Karen Whiterod, entitled Hope Calling. There are still a few places. I think my personal message has to be something about the urgency expressed in the letter this week from Christina Figueres, former UN Climate chief and other experts:  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/world-has-three-years-left-to-stop-dangerous-climate-change-warn-expertsNorfolk County Council have helped fund the workshops and the messages will be used to create a photobook to be presented to local MPS.

Trump’s appalling withdrawal from Paris just may have one positive- galvanising enough others to fight climate change actively.

The response from many US cities, states and businesses was encouraging. We need to keep working.

The Leonardo DiCaprio documentary, Before the Flood, remains a good tool. (DiCaprio gave a copy to Ivanka just after the election. It may have affected her attitude.) Invite friends and family round to watch it! Get in touch if you want help setting it up.

After a very busy few months the group has a chance to look ahead. Do send thoughts for our meeting on Monday 12th June (Friends Meeting House barn at 7.30pm) if you can’t come.

Climate Change and Sea level -useful websites from Alex Kirby

An interesting meeting. Well attended.  Thank you to those who came.

Environment Agency – What’s in Your Backyard?

http://apps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wiyby/default.aspx

Flood map for planning – https://flood-map-for-planning.service.gov.uk/

Climate change tools to support local flood risk management strategies –http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140328084622/http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/planning/135749.aspx

Wash East Coast Management Strategy – Public Consultation

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/340816/Final_Wash_East_consultation_document_final_180714.pdf

 

Association of British Insurers – Flooding

https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/flooding/

 

UK Committee on Climate Change

7 December 2015 – https://www.theccc.org.uk/

 

UKCP09

UK Climate Projections, Met Office: http://ukclimateprojections.metoffice.gov.uk/

 

Met Office: Extreme weather, 1990 to 2016

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/interesting/

(Shows rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures &c)

 

Skeptical Science

https://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise-predictions-basic.htm

( a US site focussed on “Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism”]

 

Emissions limit “is 20 years away”

http://trillionthtonne.org/

 

C40 Cities (megacities)

http://www.c40.org/

 

UKCIP [UK Climate Impacts Programme: with Case studies and Exchanging knowledge & ideas]

http://www.ukcip.org.uk/

 

Transition Network [transition towns]

https://transitionnetwork.org/

 

The Ecologist magazine [Top 10 . . . greenest UK cities] http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/home/807176/top_10_greenest_uk_cities.html

http://www.greensuffolk.org/assets/Greenest-County/Adaptation/General/Summary-of-climate-change-risks-to-

 

Should we be worried about sea level rise living round here?

Alex Kirby, former BBC journalist and environment correspondent will engage with Brian Long of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council (environment portfolio holder before he became leader of the council) on climate change issues in terms of our local response.

This discussion will have two aspects:

  • our response to the effects of climate change, especially projected sea level rise and more extreme weather events, asking whether we are tending to work with over optimistic estimates
  • our local response to the challenge of reducing our carbon footprint in areas such as transport, recycling and use of renewable energy.

A real palm oil victory!

Greenpeace writes:

We did it. HSBC have just announced that they’ll stop funding palm oil companies that destroy the rainforest. 

Burning the rainforest to make space for palm oil plantations in Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia  is not only disastrous for wildlife but has a staggering carbon footprint.

We should feel pretty powerful today  (whether you signed the petition, donated, or badgered them online, you made this happen)- and it’s not everyday you topple a bank! -that’s why it’s probably not the time to rest on our laurels. HSBC isn’t the only bank that’s been putting orangutan habitat at risk. If right now, we make HSBC’s decision as public as possible, we can show just how easy – and what good PR – it would be for other banks to do the same.