Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Climate change? What climate change? Brown addresses the CBI...

What does Gordon Brown really feel about climate change and the Stern review? Right at the moment of the Stern launch, the Chancellor weighed in with what I felt was a kind of relief mixed with complacency, an assertion that, fundamentally, not much needs to change: "the world does not need to choose between averting climate change and promoting growth and development" [see Stern review speech].

But to be fair, he did announce that his entire economic framework was to have a new third strand:
[Stern's] report confirms that if in the 20th century our national economic ambitions were the twin objectives of achieving stable economic growth and full employment, now, in the 21st century our new objectives will be threefold: growth, full employment and environmental care.

But so profound was this change of direction that by the time he got to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on 28th November, less than a month after the Stern launch, he felt able not to mention climate change or Stern at all [see CBI speech]
. He had an opportunity to frame his message to business around climate change and he ducked it completely. I'm left wondering if he is remotely serious about this, and hoping for something that looks like he is taking this seriously in the pre-Budget report tomorrow (6th December).


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agreee more. Theres lots of spinning going on from the Brown camp on his climate change credentials. The PBR after Stern should have been an opportunity to set a new direction. Given climate change is supposed to be the biggest issue facing society - how does that correspond with simply increasing the climate change levy with the rate of inflation!

The coverage by the BBC was interesting though. On the one hand you had the usual ENGO comments of 'its not enough.' On the other hand the BBC showed everyday people being interviewed at petrol stations who couldn't seem to stomach even a 1 penny increase in fuel. Just shows that we all - not just the politicians - have a long way to go to win public opinion round on tackling climate change....

Wildgardener said...

Interesting blog Bacon Butty - keep up the good work.
My impression is that Brown just doesn't get climate change. When he does touch on the subject it's never with any sense of urgency.
And yes, what a missed opportunity the CBI was. Barker has been very generous to the CBI on planning (playing Santa a little early),so a pep talk on climate change might have evened things up a little.