Letter: Tanker lesson was ignored

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The Independent Online
Sir: Greenpeace has rightly pointed out that 90 per cent of known oil reserves must stay in the ground if global warming is to be tackled, and that this is not yet United Kingdom policy. Our achievement on attaining greenhouse gas emission targets was driven by the closing of the coal mines and and market-led "dash for gas". Therefore Mr Gummer's oft-quoted statements of concern on the greenhouse effect (leading article, 22 February) have not been turned into meaningful policy.

Offshore, our oil policy is one of maximum extraction and our sectors are dirty and ill-regulated, while the implementation of the European Habitats Directive is largely stalled where it conflicts with industry. Mr Gummer may spout "green", but in a party where market forces are all, the real question is whether or not he has had any real influence.

PETER HACK

Friends of the Earth, Bristol

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