Green Fury As Britain Welcomes Rio Summit’s ‘Epic Failure’

Green NGOs and charities claim that the text produced by the Rio+20 negotiators from 193 countries is so weak as to be almost worthless. Jim Leape, international director general of WWF, hoped that today’s document would be renegotiated: “It’s pathetic. It’s appalling. If this becomes the final text the last year has been a colossal waste of time.” Friends of the Earth are even stronger in their disapproval, calling the plans “an epic failure”. But in a briefing to UK journalists Ms Spelman argued that the text was as good as any outcome agreed by 193 countries could be – and she expects it to now be rubber-stamped by the world leaders. –Tom Whipple, The Times, 20 June 2012

The head of Greenpeace International said the NGO is moving to a “war footing” after negotiators at the Rio+20 sustainable development conference watered down proposals to protect the world’s oceans. Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International’s executive director, said there were so many fudges in the draft agreement that Greenpeace now had no other option but to change its strategy and start planning waves of civil disobedience. When asked if he was prepared to die for the cause, he responded: “Yes. I feel a very deep sense of that.” –Jo Confino, The Guardian, 19 June 2012

Environmental pressure groups have written off the Rio+20 summit beginning today as “pathetic” and a “colossal failure of leadership”. Expectations were already relatively low for the summit, which is not being attended by senior world leaders. But after the negotiating text which the 130 world leaders will discuss was released the mood of environmental campaigners dropped still further. “It’s the last will and testament of a destructive 20th century development model,” said Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace’s international executive director. Jim Leape, the director-general of WWF, said “weak words” had been replaced with “toothless language”. –Alex Stevenson, Politics.co.uk, 20 June 2012

For the Conservatives, there is a political bonanza to be had from a re-think on costly green energy. Switching off subsidies for wind farms puts clear blue water between the Tories and the Lib Dems. And if played right, it could put Mr Cameron on the side of a global energy revolution that promises to keep the lights on, lower the cost to voters, and energise his electoral prospects when he most needs it. –Benedict Brogan, The Daily Telegraph, 19 June 2012

George Osborne’s new-found scepticism gave his backbenchers permission to step up their efforts against wind farms. Earlier this year, a letter to Mr Cameron drafted by the MP for Daventry, Chris Heaton-Harris, and signed by more than 100 Tory MPs put Downing Street on notice that it faced a major rebellion if it failed to address the issue. Cabinet ministers in recent days have fallen over themselves to assure Mr Heaton-Harris that he has won. His well-marshalled campaign has demonstrated the power of the backbenches and in particular the 2010 intake. He has not only improved his prospects of a ministerial job, but he has also demonstrated that in this Government, power lies increasingly with backbenchers. –Benedict Brogan, The Daily Telegraph, 19 June 2012

Natural gas, including non-traditional shale gas, should play a major role in cutting greenhouse gases, protecting forests and improving the health and living standards of the world’s poor, the co-head of a U.N. sustainable energy program said on Monday. “You can’t save the forest if you don’t have gas,” said Kandeh Yumkella, co-head of the initiative, told Reuters. “It’s one of the solutions we need to reduce deforestation and reduce the two million people who die every year because of indoor air pollution because they use firewood.” –Jeb Blount, Reuters, 18 June 2012

The foundations of some 1000 offshore wind turbines are crumbling. Danish companies face law suits over the liability and the yet unknown bills for repairs. A large brawl in the wind industry is underway. Serious design flaws in the foundations of some 1000 offshore wind turbines are now leading to lawsuits against and financial losses of several Danish companies. However, there is no overview of the problem, its economic scale and who will have to foot the bill. –Jakob Skouboe, Boerse, 4 June 2012

1) Green Fury As Britain Welcomes Rio Summit’s ‘Epic Failure’ – The Times, 20 June 2012

2) Ready To Die: Furious Greenpeace Moves To ‘War Footing’ At Rio+20 Summit – The Guardian, 19 June 2012

3) U.N. Sees Natural Gas As Key To Improving Environment, Helping Poor – Reuters, 18 June 2012

4) Benedict Brogan: Wind Of Change Sweeping Through Tory Party – The Daily Telegraph, 19 June 2012

5) Foundations Of 1000 Offshore Wind Turbines Crumbling – Boerse, 4 June 2012

6) Renewable Energy Threatens To “Ruin” Germany: “A Tsunami Of Costs” – No Tricks Zone, 19 June 2012

7) The 2012 Annual GWPF Lecture By Professor Fritz Vahrenholt – The Global Warming Policy Foundation

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