Richard Black Profile picture
Director, Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit @ECIU_UK. Former BBC science & environment correspondent. Climate, energy: a little music, sport, science, politics
25 Jun
Ten top takeaways from this morning's @theCCCuk Progress Report - delivered into a unique triple context - the #Covid_19 crisis, UK being off-track to its legally-binding 2050 #netzero emissions target, and the UK's hosting of the next, seminal UN climate summit #COP26
1) UK will get triple win from post-Covid stimulus packages aligned with net zero - jobs, levelling-up & climate. Report surveys 13 analyses from eg @CBItweets, @WorldBank & @ETC_energy & concludes 'green' measures can produce more jobs & more local growth faster than others
2) Stimulus packages should not lock in climate risk or reward: "Public money should not support industries or infrastructure in a way that is not consistent with the future #netzero economy or that increase exposure to climate risks.” Implications for airlines, North Sea?
Read 12 tweets
18 Mar
It's the morning for a Twitter thread on #COP26, specifically the notion that it could be delayed or held virtually @PickardJE @ChrisGiles_ @CamillaHodgson @etaKatetaKate
Of course #COVID2019 might force a COP26 postponement. But in the context of comments coming from within UK Government, important to note the decision isn't in the UK's gift
The UN climate process is owned by all UN member states through the @UNFCCC - they would make a decision to delay the COP or change how it's run, not the UK
Read 12 tweets
24 Feb
Somewhat bemused by these @thegwpfcom claims on the cost of #netzero, I've been having a look into the various 'reports' they produced today thegwpf.com/cost-of-net-ze…. Come with me on a tour that contains quite a bit of magical thinking and not a little mystery
The headline figure (as reported by @GuidoFawkes, @talkRADIO and now The @spectator) is £3 trillion over 30 years - about £100bn per year. That's just for two sectors, electricity and housing, so the suggestion is this could be an understatement
Of crucial importance, therefore, are the source numbers GWPF uses. Garbage in, garbage out - right?
Read 23 tweets
13 Feb
So at last it's clear - @AlokSharma_RDG is the new President of #COP26, also taking up the SoS role at @beisgovuk
Not one of the names mentioned in dispatches over the last couple of weeks, and perhaps not one of those whom the phrase 'Cabinet heavy-hitter' called to mind - but there's some rationale to the appointment
Being a COP President is primarily about diplomacy - it's an international process, owned collectively by 195-odd UN member states. And @AlokSharma brings experience in both the @foreignoffice and @DFID_UK
Read 10 tweets
31 Jan
Thoughts on Claire (Perry) O’Neill’s replacement as incoming President of this year's UN climate summit #COP26
It will be seen in some quarters as a disruption but I'm not sure it's a big one. Delivering a good outcome at COP26 needs a whole government effort across the year, led by PM @BorisJohnson, involving international-facing and UK-facing departments
The two key tasks for government are 1) do the international diplomacy well and 2) get the country demonstrably on track to its legally-binding #netzero target. First needs FCO, DfID and No10 - second needs Housing, Transport, BEIS, Treasury... and No10. At least
Read 7 tweets
8 Nov 19
#OnThisDay 30 years ago, Margaret Thatcher became the first leader of any major nation to call for a #UnitedNations treaty on #climate change
You can watch the speech here or read it here margaretthatcher.org/document/107817 - it remains IMHO one of the best speeches ever given on the subject, especially given the year and the context
Unusually for any leader's #UNGA speech, she devoted the entire thing to a single issue - '...the threat to our global environment'
Read 15 tweets
23 Aug 19
Little thread here about #AmazonFires on something I haven't seen reported yet in media
Brazil is a federal system - states have a lot of autonomy and their governors (as I saw first-hand a while back news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/n…) a big say in what happens with forests, farming, logging and so on
Have a look at which states in the Brazilian Amazon have registered a big increase in fires and which haven't bbc.com/news/world-lat…
Read 11 tweets
6 Jun 19
Nearly three years on from loss in #Brexit referendum, you might have thought that @hmtreasury would have learned the futility of the #ProjectFear tactic. Apparently not, judging from Chancellor Phil Hammond in @FT this morning ft.com/content/036a55…
A big scary number - in the case, a trillion-pound claimed pricetag for UK #netzero - leaked to media without any calculations given and with no context. Credibility zero, as everyone knows economic model outputs are only as good as the assumptions and inputs... so what are they?
Break the figure down - and assuming that the figure is expressed in constant 2019 numbers, but who knows? - that's about £30bn per year. Which doesn't sound quite so scary even if it's correct, with UK GDP around £2.5 trillion per year
Read 10 tweets