The case for man-made global warming has been stuttering of late. The temperature rises predicted a decade ago have failed to materialise, despite man-made Co2 emissions continuing to rise.

According to International Energy Agency (IEA), 31.6 gigatonnes of Co2 were released globally last year, up 3.2 per cent on 2010. While I can buy the idea that a doubling of Co2 levels compared to the pre-industrial age would lead to an average 1degC rise in temperature – which would do more good than harm, especially for crop yields – I was never sure about the idea that this historically small change would lead to a runaway effect, driving temperatures ever higher.

But much of the multi-millions spent went into trying to prove that the runaway rise theory was a real risk. Of course, the widespread acceptance that dramatically reducing Co2 emissions has lead to fuel economy legislation that has had a profound effect on future vehicle engineering.

Ironically, the auto industry is now going through its most innovative period since the invention of the automobile. However, in the last few days, there’s been evidence that global warming is about to be put on the back burner by the United Nations and the aforementioned IEA.