A consensus is emerging as to the essentials of just and sustainable means of halting anthropogenic climate change and protecting what is left of biodiversity. The green New Deal the world needs must provide training for good, secure and meaningful jobs, civilized health, care, education and welfare systems and genuinely democratic decision making. It cannot be motivated by, or even reconciled with, profiteering.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Worldwide anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions are now 60% greater than they were in 1990 and must fall by at least 7.5% p.a. by 2030 to avoid catastrophic global warming. On the 4th December 2020 Boris Johnson committed to including in the UK's Nationally Determined Contribution to COP26 a target of 68% reduction in such emissions compared to 1990 by 2030. We need to see the details of how this is to be achieved. We must:

1) Honour the Rio and Paris agreements and go further to close the loopholes in national accounting by including airlines, shipping, trucking and the emissions produced in the production of imports.

2) Leave fossil fuels in the ground. No more development based on coal-mining, oil-drilling or fracking.

3) Domestic heating and hot water account for 25% of carbon emissions in countries like the UK. Better insulation and higher tog clothing could halve this. Gas boilers need to be phased out urgently and air and ground source heat pumps need to be rolled out with support for low income households.

4) New petrol cars to be banned and low carbon public transport developed urgently.

5) Reject new nuclear power stations and close those coming to the end of their intended life span. New stations will not come online in time to ameliorate carbon emissions. Anyway the electricity they produce is three times as expensive as renewables and they also involve huge amounts of carbon gases in transportation and cement production. They leave an enormous problem for future generations to deal with.

6) Reject bio-fuels. Burning wood, pellets and fuel crops is counterproductive. Replacement planting of trees cannot catch up with the loss of carbon sequestration by mature trees. Land wasted on fuel crops is not available for food production.

7) Carbon Capture and Storage is as unproved as nuclear fusion and cannot be developed as fast as wind and solar energy.

8) Natural carbon sinks must be protected. No more deforestation. Thoughtful tree-planting will help but must be measured by survival of sustainable woodland and hedgerows not by the crude number of trees planted. Peat bogs must be protected as they are twice as efficient as trees in locking in carbon (as well as helping to prevent flooding).


In September 2020 65 world leaders met in New York and signed a Pledge for Nature agreeing to set aside 20% of their land for wildlife by 2030.

1) Most importantly a UN report showed that indigenous communities are the expert protectors of their local ecologies. Land should be returned to indigenous people, as for example Missouri River Basin and the Amazon.

2) Each nation must legislate against unregulated changes in land use and enforce protection for native flora and fauna.

3) Farmers and gardeners should learn principles of soil preservation, permaculture and forest gardening. Herbicides and pesticides must be severely regulated. No removal of mature trees or hedgerows.

4) Urban spaces and roadside verges to be rewilded where possible.

5) We should call for UNESCO to designate the Brazilian rainforest and parts of Borneo as World Heritage Sites as it did with the Grand Canyon in 1979. This would set a precedent for other threatened areas.


As sea levels rise due to global warming many islands and low lying lands, such as Bangla Desh are threatened with extinction while pollution and acidification of rivers, oceans, lakes and groundwater is accelerating all the time.

1) Existing national and international regulations to prevent discharge of industrial domestic and human waste into waters need to be strengthened and enforced.

2) Drought stressed areas and those afflicted by inadequate drinking water must be supported by international aid.

3) Water wastage due to poor management by private water companies needs to be addressed urgently.


In his UN address in 2020 Alok Sharma, who is the president of COP26, said

“We have the opportunity to turn climate change into a growth opportunity for the global economy.”

WOT! In just 16 words the man responsible for ensuring the success of COP26 has exposed the rot at the core of the apple barrel. Economic growth is the problem not the solution. The more we consume the more the economy “grows” and the more the climate and environment are degraded.

1) We need to move swiftly towards a circular rather than a growth economy.

2) The sales-growth motive behind planned obsolescence of consumer “durables” must be replaced by a practice of repair and mend.

3) The fashion industry should convert to producing durable clothing made by valued and properly remunerated workers using sustainable and, where possible, recycled materials.

4) The countries which gained by early industrialisation and colonial exploitation must make reparations to countries most threatened by the current trajectory.

5) A global green New Deal is required concentrating on creating jobs with associated lifelong training.

Corporate Law

Major fossil fuel companies have their logos on the official COP26 advertisements. Whatever green-washing financial contributions they have made must not be allowed to buy them a say in the proceedings. Drastic reforms are necessary to stop them and other culprits slipping back to business-as-usual.

1) Stop public bodies from issuing public contracts to companies operating out of tax havens.

2)Create public registries of beneficial owners of companies trusts and foundations.

3) Introduce full transparency of deals and agreements between companies and governments.

4) Introduce public country by country reporting by multinational companies.