Friday December 13th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
What The British Conservative Election And Brexit Means For Climate Action
Dear Diary. Yesterday in Britain Labour Party’s Jeremy Courbyn got trounced in a landslide election by Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party. Clearly now there will be Brexit early next year, which will at least temporarily weaken the European Union and could even further split Britain. Scotland and Northern Ireland could finally split off from Britain and choose to remain in the European Union. So what does this historic political event mean for climate action?
I personally frown on anything that further divides the world thinking that political unity is needed worldwide to combat climate change through some central government action. Brexit will definitely divide a fairly fragile Europe. Too, Boris Johnson has been described as Britain’s Trump and is a conservative by nature, so his government may slow any climate action more than Labour. Johnson is not like Trump though since he has at least agreed with the latest climate science.
To further look at what all this means for today’s main topic article let’s use a House of Commons library article:
House of Commons Library
Brexit: energy and climate change
Published Thursday, September 5, 2019
A House of Commons Library Briefing Paper discussing key energy and climate change policy in the UK, the status of related Brexit negotiations and the possible impact of Brexit on these policy areas, including in relation to a no deal scenario. Jump to full report >>
Brexit and energy
Although Member States remain ultimately responsible for the energy supply to their citizens, and for deciding on the most appropriate energy mix, the UK and EU energy sectors are integrated through trade, legislation, and interconnection of energy supply, as well as sharing joint research and development aims.
EU internal energy market (IEM)
The UK has five electricity interconnectors with continental Europe and the island of Ireland and more are either under construction or planned. The UK is currently a member of the EU internal energy market (IEM) which allows harmonised, tariff-free trading of gas and electricity across Europe through interconnectors.
The UK Government has said it wants to “explore” options for the future relationship of the UK with the IEM but is not committed to trying to retain membership of the market. Leaving could impact the efficiency of trading over interconnectors, potentially leading to higher costs.
The island of Ireland has operated a Single Electricity Market (SEM) for many years which allows free trade of power across the island. A new Integrated Single Electricity Market designed closely around the rules of the IEM, was launched in 2018. Leaving the IEM could result in the Irish market becoming less integrated with the EU market: making trading on the SEM less efficient. In the longer term, regulatory divergence could be problematic for the continued functioning of the SEM. The UK Government have said it is committed to the continuing functioning of the SEM.
Brexit and climate change
The UK Government has repeatedly confirmed its commitment to domestic and international efforts to tackle climate change, neither of which will be substantially impacted by Brexit. However, the level of the UK’s involvement or future cooperation with EU climate change efforts, in particular the EU emissions trading system, remains subject to ongoing negotiation. In a no deal scenario, the UK would not remain part of the EU ETS and the Government has put in place legislation for a carbon tax to continue carbon pricing in the short term. In the longer term, in a May 2019 consultation, the UK Government and the devolved Administrations stated that securing an agreement with the EU for a linked UK emissions trading scheme is their preferred option for the future of carbon pricing after Brexit. However, this requires agreement from the EU and therefore several alternative options are being consulted on and considered.
Commons Briefing papers CBP-8394
Authors: Suzanna Hinson; Sara Priestley; Paul Bolton; Noel Dempsey
Download the full report
PDF, 1.72 MB)
Feel free to download the PDF to read the entire report.
Here is much more linked information:
The UK’s departure from the European Union may have major implications for future UK and EU climate policy. Although the UK Government has signalled its intention to stick to its existing carbon reduction commitments it remains to be seen how Brexit may impact on this. It is also uncertain whether the UK will remain a member of the EU Emissions Trading System after Brexit.
The UK’s exit from the Single Market is also likely to have an impact on trade for low-carbon goods with the European Union.
Over the coming months the Institute will be analysing the economic and policy implications of Brexit.
Publications and commentaries
We formally study the determinants, magnitude and distribution of efficiency gains generated in multilateral linkages between permit markets. We provide two novel decomposition results for these gains, characterize individual preferences … read more »
This policy brief analyses global trends in carbon taxation and differences in tax design around the world to draw out lessons for the design of a possible new carbon tax for the UK, as the country plans how to meet its ambitious new net-zero emissions target and how it prices carbon after Brexit. read more »
This paper develops a novel theoretical tool with which a jurisdiction can evaluate the economic gains it can expect to obtain by linking its emissions trading system (ETS) to one, two or many ETSs at the same time, and proposes a reason why the global market remains a distant dream. read more »
Commentary 11 February, 2019
The structural shifts underway to tackle climate change and other environmental issues mean there is huge potential for further growth in green finance despite challenges ahead, writes Roger Gifford for the Sustainable Finance Leadership Series. read more »
a commentary by Josh Burke 30 October, 2018
To tax or to trade – that is the question. Following the October Budget, and as Brexit looms, Josh Burke assesses the policy landscape around carbon pricing in the UK. read more »
a policy publication by Alyssa Gilbert, Maria Carvalho 5 September, 2018
This submission was made to Defra’s consultation on environmental principles and governance after the UK leaves the European Union. read more »
A new report from the UK’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) warns of a ‘dramatic and worrying collapse’ in green investment in the UK, which is at a 10-year low. This … read more »
My bottom line of thought is that a new conservative, and perhaps much smaller Britain will delay essential climate action since there will be drawn out negotiations between two separate government bodies. If Britain remained in the EU one government entity instead of two would be coming to terms with any post Paris Accords agreements.
Also, what happened in Britain yesterday should stoke fear in the hearts of Democrats here in the U.S. If the British version of Trump can win in a landslide, might not the real Trump, despite impeachment, win handily in 2020? Sometimes electorates in Britain and the U.S. mirror each other. This happened when Reagan and Thatcher came to power in the 1980s riding a conservative wave. If the economy remains robust in the U.S. I can see a scenario in which Trump wins a second term. An undercurrent of conservatism may shock some left leaning pundits in 2020.
If Trump wins, as I have so often written, that will be the death nail for the Paris Accords and the climate because of energy policy. Should fossil fuel companies not be held in check next decade by a New Green Deal I can envision global temperature averages exceeding +2 and even up to +5°C above preindustrial conditions before 2100. So, U.S. liberals and progressives, get your act together, taking heed of what just happened in Britain. All of our futures are depending on it.
Here is more climate and weather news from Friday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)
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Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”