New evidence today shows the significant rise in the Earth's temperature since the middle of the 20th century can only have been the result of human activity.
Further scientific evidence is published today showing the significant rise in the Earth’s temperature since the middle of the 20th century can only have been the result of human activity – no natural phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions or variations in the activity of the Sun, could have caused such a rise.
The study, published in the Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews of Climate Change, concluded that:
“There is an increasingly remote possibility that climate change is dominated by natural rather than anthropogenic [man-made] factors.”
The findings echo those of senior figures at the Met Office, like director of operations Keith Groves, who, as Left Foot Forward reported in January, explained to Newsnight:
“To actually reproduce the change in temperature that we’ve seen in the last 100 years, the only way you can do that is by adding carbon dioxide into the model.“
The news comes as Ed Miliband calls on David Cameron to agree a consensus on tackling climate change, questioning the Conservative party’s “commitment to developing renewable energy”.
In a letter to the Tory leader, Miliband writes:
“There are increasing concerns about your Party’s climate change and energy policy, most particularly questions surrounding your Party’s commitment to developing renewable energy. It is important for the nation’s future prosperity that there is cross-party consensus on the importance of renewables to achieve our climate change and energy security goals. It is difficult to achieve that consensus because of the following positions taken up by your party and its elected representatives nationally and locally.
“Your failure to fully and publicly commit to the target agreed by this government, to generate 15% of the UK’s energy by renewable means by 2020, is creating uncertainty for industry and reducing the prospects for future energy investment.
“The Tories in power have a weak record on wind power. Councils run by your party turn down sixty per cent of applications for wind projects. Nothing in your Party’s documents or in your public declarations indicate that you at a national level are doing anything to challenge the resistance by Tory councillors to clean energy projects, nor have you agreed with us that a systematic mapping of the renewable resource in the UK would enable all communities to be able to sensitively and appropriately site wind projects to contribute to our national target.
“Your most recent planning document is a further cause of concern; you would neuter the Infrastructure Planning Commission, scrap regional planning and introduce a third party right to appeal. This is a recipe for delay which would threaten our energy security and our climate change objectives. The British public will conclude that the greening of the Tory Party was a temporary measure, dumped when it had served the purpose of detoxifying your brand.
“The opinions of your business spokesman Ken Clarke also indicate that the Tories are weak on wind power. He told a right-wing think tank: “My view is that those few wild and open spaces that we have left in Britain should not be used for wind turbines”. You have yet to disassociate yourself from his views. I would urge you to do so.
“Pledging to clean up our energy supply is a key test of your Party’s professed intention to tackle climate change and provide energy security. Your commitment to the 15% renewable energy target would be a step towards establishing the cross-party consensus required for industry certainty. The activities of the Tory Party in power run counter to claims to be a climate-sensitive party and the public pronouncements of senior Conservatives confirm the view that Tories would put the low carbon future at risk.
“I fear that without some effort on your part to shift your party’s position on renewable energy, the public will conclude you and your party are not serious about tackling climate change or ensuring energy security.”
• To co-sign the climate change secretary’s letter visit Ed’s PledgeLike this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.