Thursday, January 15, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 15th January 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: It is interesting to follow the effects of the reduced oil prices that are prevailing at the moment. The most notable, of course, is the price of petrol and diesel at the pumps. It was difficult to imagine such a situation this time last year.

The decreased cost of transport should lead to lower prices in the shops, particularly food but it will also mean that more fuel is being used as drivers travel more. Unfortunately, this means increased carbon emissions which is bad news for the environment.

We all know that the only way we can avoid disastrous climate change is to limit our carbon emissions and the only way to do this is to reduce our use of fossil fuels. A new report from University College London (UCL) states that a large percentage of the world’s reserves of fossil fuels need to be left in the ground if we are to avoid even a 2⁰C increase in global temperatures.

We are often hearing about how much the oil companies are putting into exploration for new oil and gas reserves – £443bn as recently as 2013 – but we must question why they are doing this when we cannot burn known reserves, never mind new ones. If there is to be global agreement at the Climate Summit in December this year, developing countries must be persuaded to leave their fossil fuel reserves in the ground and encouraged to develop renewable sources of energy, with help and investment from the developed world.

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