Initially, like millions of others, I believed the claims made relating to wind power technology. I wanted to. It seemed to wipe away the perceived problem of climate change by using a free source of energy! I also cherished the belief that in an open democratic and Europeanised society policies and public participation in decision making were open, rational and defensible. So I have some sympathy with those who have yet to appreciate that both the UK and the EU created immense and powerful mechanisms for counteracting climate change without the open scrutiny, intellectual accountability and checks and balances which lie at the heart of the Aarhus Convention, and which at our peril we take for granted.
So the independent Committee’s Ruling will be extremely valuable in highlighting issues that must be rectified in the public interest. But despite the subject matter it is not just about renewable energy policy or fixes for climate change: its principally about practice, participation and transparency. It shows that it is not merely possible, but imperative that our authorities are held to account not only by experts, but by ordinary citizens at the ‘grass roots’ of society.
The complaint – stemming from local injustices in a far-flung corner of Argyll, but driven by seemingly unassailable EU-wide policies with an ostensible global rationale – has enabled exposure of an increasing disconnect between authorities. They have become politicised and committed to the current orthodoxy, despite increasing scientific and technical evidence to the contrary. It is the very lack of open-ness, scrutiny and accountability that has allowed this to go so far that it is in danger of becoming immutable and those who challenge it branded as heretics rather than democrats. To read full article, click here: PR for Aarhus Convention Committee and draft decision on Complaint Ref ACCC C 2012 68 (final.c.)