Say what you like about Baroness Thatcher (and I’m sure you will) but she was arguably the first UK Prime Minister to ‘get’ climate change. Arguably in fact, she may have been almost the only UK Prime Minister to ‘get’ climate change.
But there is a smidgeon of evidence that Enoch Powell was right to say that all political lives end in failure with yesterday’s vote in the EU Parliament that will further flood the market with carbon credits, thus potentially reducing the price of carbon emissions still further (see here, here).
It’s a technical area, but yesterday’s vote will lead to the price of carbon on the EU Trading Scheme falling even further – to below 5 quid a tonne (at its height the price was, I think, about 80 quid a tonne which made quite a difference to heavily polluting industries).
This is a double blow for the Thatcher legacy. First, it is clear that market mechanisms haven’t been very good at dealing with carbon emissions – and any old socialist like me could have told you that. Second, of course it was the political Right who voted against the climate-protecting proposals to withhold emission quotas.