You do have to wonder about these people sometimes.
The UK\’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 2% in 2007 compared with the previous year, according to provisional figures from the government. The country now emits 18% less than it did in 1990, well inside the Kyoto reduction target of a 12.5% cut, but critics argue that last year\’s drop is almost entirely due to energy companies burning less coal because it became more expensive.
Umm, that\’s rather the point, isn\’t it? All of the serious people looking at ways to reduce emissions point to either cap and trade or a carbon tax as the best way to do so. Either works (although tey work in different manners) by making the use of materials that create emissions more expensive.
So as coal becomes more expensive, people use less of it.
Demand curves slope downwards: Hurrah!
"It has nothing to do with government policy," said Robin Smale, an energy analyst at Vivid Economics. "Coal became more expensive than gas so [electricity producers] switched some of their production to gas."
The complaint seems to be that markets are providing a solution rather than bureaucrats. How dumb is that?