Britain has no chance of meeting its main carbon-reduction target of 80% by 2050 because it lacks the engineering and manufacturing capacity to deliver the required renewable energy, a study has found. The study by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers says that the target, is an unexplained “an act of faith” with no grounding in reality. Britain would need to build the equivalent of 30 nuclear power stations by 2015 to be on course to meet the target, the study says. On Monday the Government said it hoped that private companies would build ten by 2025. The Institution accuses the Government of ignoring its own evidence about how long it takes to deliver infrastructure. It dismisses the idea that Britain could recruit engineers from abroad. It also says that private companies, on which the Government is relying to deliver low-carbon infrastructure, are “simply not that interested”. Stephen Tetlow, the Institution’s chief executive, said Britain needed to adopt a “wartime mentality”, with people as acutely aware of their energy consumption as they were of food consumption during the Second World War.
This article can be found on the Times’ excellent new blog Green Central at www.timesonline.co.uk/greencentral. Other recent articles include reports of a study that show Greenland’s ice melt is speeding up, significantly contributing to rising sea levels, an article on repairs (yes, repair things!), a story on Christmas trees for hire and a report on how little of the wood we use and throw away is recycled – showing that whilst recycling rates for wood and a wide range of other goods and products have improved in recent years and is now between 40 and 50 per cent — it still means that every 12 months the equivalent of several forests are chucked into holes in the ground. Well worth a read.