From the Chair of the UK All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group

by | Jul 2, 2008

My mother pointed out to me that on Saturday Colin Challen MP, Chair of the UK Government’s All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group, had a letter published in the Guardian.

After numerous other eminently sensible suggestions about how the Government should be stepping up its response to climate change he concluded with the following:

“And most urgently we need to recognise that early carbon reductions are the most important step, and that will only happen with rapid behavioural change, which means some form of carbon rationing.

In this last respect, for any minister or potential minister to say the time for personal carbon allowances has not yet come illustrates either deep cynicism, defeatism or complacency, or perhaps a combination of all three.”

Hear hear. His last remark is a clear reference to the comments of our Environment Minister, Hilary Benn, on the Today programme just over a month ago, when he described TEQs as “ahead of its time”. This interview (also featuring George Monbiot) can be heard here.


  1. Chris


    Spoke to Colin last Thursday. Asked why Peak IOil didn’t feature in his address as the very impulse to get things moving on Climate Change. Very brief discussion but his view seemed to be that there is so much tar sands oil to switch to. Did try to explain that tar sands are slow and inefficient

  2. Mandy Meikle

    I share your concerns, Chris. Tar sands (aka oil sands) could be the link between climate change and peak oil because our switching to them as an energy source highlights how much trouble we are in. The oil reserves reporting regulations may be changed to include tar sands and some investors aware of peak oil are seeing tar sands as the future. How mad is that? Some info if you’re interested:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Changes in the rules on how energy companies report their reserves, proposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday [26 June 08] and favored by the industry, would give investors a clearer picture of a company’s oil and natural gas reserves, the SEC said.

    The proposal reflects improved technologies and alternative extraction methods, the SEC said. If adopted, it would allow previously excluded resources such as oil sands to be classified as reserves — one of the changes the industry has sought.


    On investment, has a longer article on what’s delightfully known as Tsunami investing. Basically, if a major trend – an economic Tsunami – is unfolding why not be invested in the companies that will be lifted by it? It does make good business sense, which is why the market will never address climate change. Some bits from the article:

    “Oil and gas are a perfect investment Tsunami. Oil scarcity is increasing and will be with us for at least another ten years. Natural gas will also soon become scarce. (It’s price has actually risen faster than oil so far this year.) So the short version of my advice to myself is don’t try to be clever. Keep the investment posture simple in terms of both stocks and commodities. Don’t try to trade it. Be there when oil becomes truly scarce after 2010.”

    “Companies that are central to the long term production of oil and gas will all win. It does not matter if you choose Encana or Devon or XTO. It only matters how well whatever companies you pick are able to secure oil and gas. That’s why my favorites are the oil sands plays; they have enough oil to last well beyond anyone’s investment horizon, so they are the most central to the energy shortage Tsunami.”

    “The revision will allow them (oil and gas companies) to count oil sands as reserves which could unleash a massive oil sands acquisition program by the oil majors. Best to own these stocks before Exxon starts writing checks.”

    Sorry for long, depressing post!


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