Fire and ice
Benny Peiser argues “the green agenda will remain firmly on ice for the rest of this decade”. [Durban’s climate conference puts green deal on ice, last Wednesday]. What’s true for inter-governmental climate treaties may also be coming true for the green energy movement, as governments realise they can’t afford the costly subsidies it demands. Despite David Cameron’s green agenda, this is already starting to happen in the UK, with solar feed-in tariffs slashed from last Monday – although a rearguard action against the cuts by environmental pressure groups and interested companies is still being fought in the High Court. And only last week in Germany, which is often held up as a successful pioneer in this area, the solar panel producer Solon had to file for insolvency. Perhaps it’s time everyone cooled off on this expensive passion.

Samantha Lewis