• James Shepherd Foster

Open Letter to Andrea Leadsom

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The Rt. Hon. Andrea Leadsom MP.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

1 Victoria Street

LondonSW1H 0ET

Dated: Sunday, 22 September 2019

Dear Minister,

Greenstuffblog.com, an environmental commentator supports Brexit, and this letter is in the spirit of cooperation in achieving Brexit, hopefully by the 31st of October 2019. The following paragraphs may help you in achieving public momentum which will be necessary to achieve this.

The antidote to propaganda is truth. Parliament, at the moment, is controlled by a cross party cabal of politicians whose purpose in life is to frustrate and cancel Brexit, and their singular weapon is propaganda based on false and erroneous information. The most common Remain statement, (probably coined the day after the referendum,) was and is, “The Public didn’t vote for …………,” (please insert ‘Leaving the single market’ ‘Leaving the customs union’ ‘Leaving with No Deal’ and ‘Crashing out without a deal’ et al).”

What they did vote for was the right for UK politicians and Parliament to make laws and rules which are primarily in the National interest, and to leave a political union which contained the obvious and continuing threat of a Federal Europe with a single currency. My interest is the UK’s unique environment which is a national asset; and which should be nurtured and protected by our own National and Regional laws and rules.

Statistics from Global Carbon Atlas

The above bar chart shows only Germany, of the 28 member states of the EU, has a ‘score’ which puts it in sixth place in the rate of climate emissions. If we remained in the EU and moved to Federal System of 28 states, this would move us to third place above India, with Brexit the UK would, as an independent country retain its existing position and the Federal EU would move to a position marginally below India. I’m not asking you to start hurling brickbats at Germany, or other EU states who claim ‘carbon’ credentials, but rather examine the methodology of the Global Carbon Atlas. The criteria is determined by, Territorial Emissions: Consumption Emissions: Transfer Emissions: and Bunkers, (a full definition of these terms are available at Global Carbon, or on this website). The calculations of Transfer Emissions and Bunkers relate to emissions associated with freight movement, both within a state and exports leaving and entering a state. It is difficult to achieve complete accuracy with EU movements, because in common with China, Russia and the United States of America, the EU operates a Single Market and Customs Union, (SM&CU). The figures for China, Russia and the USA can be deemed accurate, because they are examined as a block; but the SM&CU doesn’t record movements between states, or when an intermediate state acts as a land bridge to the state of destination, so within the member states

The EU has previously failed to distinguish, with any clarity, the effect of sector emissions, on our overall carbon ‘score.’ Now EU Science is catching up; The European Academies of Science Advisory Council Report 37 (which included contributions and scrutiny from our own Royal Society and peer review by UK University academicians), is a dramatic and detailed report on Freight and Population movement within the EU. It concludes the emissions generated by Freight and Population movement are of a magnitude which will unequivocally mean the EU will fail to meet the criteria set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. The remedies are wide ranging and drastic to EU structures, and the SM&CU. The two ‘freedoms’ on which the SM&CU is based, “The Freedom and Unrestricted Movement of People,” and, “The Freedom and Unrestricted Movement of Goods,” must be changed to, “Sustainable Movement,” in both cases. Businesses, Retailers, and Municipal Authorities must shorten their, “supply lines.” Short Haul Airfreight is recognised as the worst CO2 offending freight movement, and short haul passenger flights the worst CO2 offensive population movement. Sustainable Freight and Passenger movement in general is best accommodated by low emission electric rail and where possible freight can be moved sustainably by inland and estuary waterways on electrically sourced barge power. The inescapable fact is whether we leave or remain The Single Market and Customs Union must fundamentally and irrevocably change, and in a time of climate crisis this change has to be enacted extremely rapidly with an EU administration and currency unable to support these changes over the vast areas of climate need.

Supranational politics preference is toward the centralism and EASAC 37 climate requirements will accentuate this, Ireland, Spain and Portugal are the most exposed geographically in the east, with Greece and Italy in the south. Germany and Poland are well within the central belt of the EU, but their climate crisis is primarily related to Territorial Emissions and Consumption Emissions. These emissions are only partly Mitigated by wind and solar farms, which are intermittent in their output. Transport emissions are completely outside wind and solar philosophy. Future trade talks with the EU has always been resisted by the EU negotiators until after a ‘deal’ has been struck; the reason for EU tardiness is they have to adopt EASAC 37 if they are to meet the Paris Climate Agreement, and in adoption of EASAC 37 sustainability will determine trade. EASAC 37 has an impeccable scientific pedigree, but can’t be implemented until all member states agree to abide by the sustainability strictures. Until this has taken place neither the EU negotiators, nor Remain MP’s can predict the size shape or investment potential of the 2 climate speed EU. Mrs. May negotiated a pig in a poke, which was rejected; but at least she was fairly sure both pig and poke existed, and access was by membership. Should we remain it is certain we will be paying higher subs for a smaller spartan clubhouse.

The UK’s primary emissions have never been from grid electricity, which today only has about 40% generated from fossil fuel sources. Transport is the 2019 primary emission source. In the period since Maastricht traffic emission levels in the EU from HGV and heavy duty vehicles have risen 50% on average. But because of the bottleneck access, to and from the UK for Ro-Ro Ferry HGV traffic, these bottleneck areas have seen rises of up to 150%, this is exacerbated by the UK providing a land bridge for all Irish EU/UK trade, and internal movements within the 4 countries of the UK. UK and Ireland apart, the EU’s HGV problem is much less ferry dependent and dissipated over far larger areas, also more rail infrastructure is in place.

This higher vehicle intensity is not only causing the UK to exceed its Paris Climate Agreement emissions, the atmospheric pollution regularly exceeds WHO guidelines in city areas, towns and large agglomerations. Medical evidence links traffic pollution, within areas of intensive poor quality housing, to the retarded development of children’s respiratory function, and dementia in older people.

A post Brexit government can proceed with Adapting our transport infrastructure to more efficient methods which accepts a restriction of individual speed as a price well worth paying to achieve and accumulate the health and fiscal benefits of sustainable freight and passenger movement. I would refer you to The Global Commission on Adaption led by Bill Gates and Ban Ki moon. Adaption is the big infrastructure projects methodology of enhancing and protecting the environment. The UK action falls well within the brief of the IPCC’s definitions on Adaption and Sequestration within the autonomous state, which describes the UK post Brexit.

Yours faithfully

James Shepherd Foster

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