Tackling climate change should be the UK’s top energy priority

The Guardian, 19 November 2015:

It is hardly surprising that the chief executive of Oil and Gas UK argues against fossil fuel disinvestment, but substituting one fossil fuel with another is not going to solve climate change (Letters, 18 November). This approach was tried by car manufacturers who promoted diesel instead of petrol as a means of reducing carbon emissions, but failed to admit that the technology needed to control other pollutants from diesel engines would inevitably compromise fuel efficiency. The same applies to the replacement of coal with shale gas. It seems attractive until you consider that fugitive emissions of methane tend to cancel out any benefit to the climate.

In any event the industry has been advocating gas instead of coal for 30 years, so if this represents a bridge to the promised land of renewable energy, it is leading us in the wrong direction.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire