Dear Mr Farebrother
Thank you for your email below.
On your enquiry about carbon budgets, the recently published Carbon Plan (December 2011) sets out how we are managing these (page 118), which you may find useful in addressing your specific concerns:
I appreciate your strong views on Trident. However, it is the policy of the UK Government that, while we are committed to the long-term goal of nuclear disarmament, we believe we can best protect ourselves by the continued operation of a minimum, credible nuclear deterrent. This Government has committed to maintain the deterrent and to renew it as debated and approved by Parliament in 2007. Parliament has taken a conscious and informed decision and we are not sliding towards Trident’s replacement.
The Government believes that the operation of Trident and the combating of climate change are consistent with each other. This Government has taken ambitious action in cutting emissions and putting us on the path to a low carbon economy. The link to the Carbon Plan above outlines some of the ways in which we are doing this.
DECC Correspondence Unit
Dear Bill Lacey
Thank you for your email in response to mine of 9 February.
May I commend the comparative promptness of your reply. Many Government Departments are very dilatory in this matter and often need reminders, sometimes after several months' delay.
I am rather curious about your paragraph about the value of the nuclear deterrent to the UK. It has little or no connection to what I actually wrote. Whether or not Trident provides us with protection is beside the point.
What we need to know is how well Trident's true cost, and the climate change effects it could produce if used, balances against its perceived defence advantages.Meanwhile, I have looked at the December 2011 Carbon Plan. It is quite impressive in the sense that there are several attractive diagrams and interesting footnotes. However, I did a search for "nuclear" and could find references only to nuclear power. Keywords such as "defence", "weapons" and "Trident" yielded nothing. I invite you to carry out a search in case I have missed something. Perhaps there is another more relevant document available which assesses the carbon footprint of Trident, taking into account its true costs as outlined in my previous email. If so, could you let me have a look at it? Failing this, may I re-phrase my previous question.
Is the DECC, perhaps in conjunction with other Government Departments, willing to prepare a carbon budget which takes into account the wider costs and carbon implications of the Trident programme? If the answer is "no" that, at least, would provide us with useful information.
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