Oct 28, 2022
2 mins read
With COP27 next month, not that Rishi Sunak is bothering to attend, we need governments to do a lot more on fossil fuel. Right so according to a new batch of climate reports, we’re heading ever closer to climate catastrophe, we’re quite used to hearing such things now aren’t we? Are some of us perhaps tuned out to such doomsaying headlines? But one line I’ve read today, by Professor Simon Lewis of University College London caught my eye, because he’s said the solution to this climate crisis is to do everything we can to defeat the fossil fuel industry. Now, you might think, OK Damo, where’ve you been, that’s obvious, but the phrasing matters here, the context of what he said. We have governments trying to work with the fossil fuel industry, both on environmental and economic lines, especially with prices rising, but actually is that the right approach if we’re to get prices down and save the planet as that 1.5C by 2030 heating point of no return gets ever closer? Let’s have a butchers at the facts here. The G20 nations account for 80% of global emissions, so if we’re to fix things, it’s on these countries to do the responsible thing yes? It’s not a group of heads of state that are playing very well together. For example Putin is a madman, they’ve elected a fascist in Italy and Brazil still has a guy burning the Amazon faster than ever before. Modi in India, the head chopping oil addicted Saudi’s and equally addicted US, plus us in the UK with weak, unstable government, it’s not a recipe for collectivism when we need it. Sunak incidentally has already said he’s not bothering with COP27 in Egypt next month. Also why is taking a hardline stance against these energy companies such a problem? They need global resources in order to make profit, so we have them over a barrel – excuse the pun – to clean up, you would think. Shell has, for example, just announced profits of £8bn for the last quarter. Tax them more, in fact tax them something, because for as long as they’re investing in new drilling, they’re getting a tax break here for doing so, in fact they’ve offset their own self imposed windfall tax this way as well, so they’re actually doing nothing right now to help the UK economy. Allowing this is backwards thinking. Other oil giants are making huge profits too, in fact globally the industry is looking at making some $4tn in profits and has been calculated to have made some $1tn a year every year for the last 50 years, completely unearned. Not only are we looking at environmental disaster by failing to take the fight to the oil giants, but economic calamity too as they continue to make and hoard incredible sums of money, enough money to set this planet on a different course. Sadly we’re lacking in the strong leadership and collective will right now to deal with them, so who’s really in charge?