Alex Meredith

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It was no lesser authority than Kenny Rogers who revealed in his 1978 country classic that ‘Every gambler knows; the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep’.   It is a logic that has been whispered around card tables and hollered at barn dances from Kent to Kentucky ever since.  But today saw perhaps its most unusual application to date.  Forget the precautionary principle or sustainable… Read More

There is a whisper circulating around Westminster that Nick Clegg wants an opportunity to replace Danny Alexander with Ed Davey in the ‘quad’ that settles key coalition policy.   If it happens it would freshen up the central coalition team, dispel any Lib Dem fears of a double agent (Alexander) in the heart of government, and provide a direct challenge to George Osborne’s anti-green agenda.   In short, it’s a good idea. The timing… Read More

Offsetting is not everyone’s preferred form of environmental action.   But when you run the biggest mechanism for generating offsets on the planet, you think you might have bought in. Not so. The UN operates (through the UNFCCC) the largest and most successful offsetting mechanism known as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).  It allows developed world emitters to invest in developing world clean technology projects. This has two positives – reducing the… Read More

Pacific Rim Countries Can Diffuse Carbon Bomb In a troubling report this week commissioned by Greenpeace, Ecofys has identified 14 fossil fuel projects that could add 20% to the world’s carbon emissions by 2020. They have described the effect of these projects as the ticking ‘carbon bomb’ which if it is allowed to go off will send the world towards 6 degrees centigrade of warming. Unsurprisingly, emissions from Chinese projects provide the… Read More

We are only three weeks into 2013 and there is already a feeling of a revolution in the world of climate policy. Led by a courageous and unexpected inauguration speech by Obama, the world’s second biggest polluter is finally awakening from its long apathetic slumber over emissions reductions. Years of hard ground-work have led to the successful launch of the California Carbon Trading Scheme and moves by the Environmental Protection Agency to… Read More

The annual summit of the UNFCCC (the international body charged with coming to agreements on action against climate change) has ended with some progress.  Rejoice! The commitment from developed nations to compensate the developing world for ‘loss and damage’ caused by climate change is a positive step.  It hard-wires the repayment of the ‘climate debt’ owed by the industrialised global ‘north’ to the developing global ‘south’ into the negotiating text.   What it… Read More

I have only ever attended on UNFCCC summit  – in 2009 when I travelled by train to Copenhagen to protest and push for action.  The experience and the outcome were disappointing, demoralising and made me vow never to attend again.  Since then I have never felt I was missing out.  Until now. John Vidal of the Guardian has reported an extraordinary moment in the main chamber in Doha today.  A senior Filipino… Read More

Tony Blair arrived back in the UK to thrust his well worn stick into another bee’s nest issue over the weekend – this time Europe.  I hope our leaders were listening.  Blair’s cosy relationship with Europe may not have been the handbag swinging that would have pleased everyone, but it is the right way to ensure the UK’s voice was heard in our biggest trading block.   Blair is bringing the right… Read More

Trying to thrash out a climate deal in a city built on oil and gas is like debating drugs policy in Afghanistan.   That is; a good idea.   The sight of a few LNG vessels pulling away to deliver vital gas supplies around the developed world should bring a touch of realism to proceedings.  But there is unlikely to be any day-dreaming of grandstanding this year in any case.  Europe has made clear… Read More