The 2050 goal of reducing the UK’s carbon emissions by 80 per cent compared with
1990 levels is a high priority for the country. While some of us say we agree with these
climate change goals, in reality, our behaviour is not compatible with them. For various reasons, we are resistant to nuclear power, to wind farms in our backyards, and to lifestyle changes.
However, if we don’t want to see our bills go up, the planet sustain further damage or
energy supplies grow insecure, somehow we have to change. Current coalition policy is to let the market
decide which pathway provides the best way forwards. But is it really the job of the market to keep the lights on in Britain? What would happen if it chose to sacrifice secure electricity supplies for lower costs? Government does not seem quite sure whether electricity is a commodity or a social service.
The market is in a state of flux; the way that it is financed needs to change. What if the result of this is that targets are not met and we end up with an inadvertent result? Will government hold its nerve or will it step in?/p>
04 July 2011