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Reply From Angela Smith, MP

June 3, 2016

By Paul Homewood 


Readers will recall I wrote to my MP a couple of months, asking for her views on the Climate Change Act.

This was my letter:


Dear Angela

With regard to the Climate Change Act and decarbonisation targets, can I start by asking if you are aware of the following:

1) Legislation has already been passed for the Fourth Carbon Budget period of 2023-27, which commits the UK to reduce GHG emissions by 52% from 1990 levels.

2) The Committee on Climate Change is now recommending this be increased to a cut of 57% for 2028-32.

3) On the other hand, the EU’s commitment, included in its INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contribution), is only for a cut of 40% from 1990 by 2030. This pledge will be the EU’s specific commitment to the Paris Climate Treaty.

4) The Paris Agreement specifically acknowledges that the various INDCs submitted will lead to a projected GHG annual  level of 55 GtCO2e by 2030. This is an increase on the latest estimate available, which was 49 Gt in 2010, and a huge increase over the 2005 figure of 37 Gt

5) UK emissions of GHG amount to little more then 1% of global emissions, and therefore any reductions made in the UK will have virtually no effect globally.

6) The cost, ultimately payable by householders, for this decarbonisation is massive. The OBR project a cost of £13.6bn for 2020/21. This is an increase on the current year’s cost of £3.6bn.

7) The Committee on Climate Change forecast that these costs will increase by another £4.8bn by 2030, if their targets are to be achieved.

8) The UK has already achieved a cut of 32% in GHG since 1990. Latest projections from DECC suggest that we will have cut by 40% by 2017.

Bearing the above points in mind, what is the justification making bigger cuts than our EU partners, never mind the rest of the world which will be increasing emissions?

Do you agree that we should revise legislation to reflect a cut of 40% by 2030 and thereby avoid the massive extra costs projected?

Many thanks

Paul Homewood


I have now received her reply, or I should say the copy of the letter sent to her by Lord Bourne, Under Secretary of State at DECC:







It comes as no surprise, but is still nevertheless depressing, that my MP appears to have neither any views of her own on the subject, nor any knowledge. Remember that she is a Labour MP. I can think of no other topic where an opposition MP would so readily accept the views of a government minister.


But let’s look more closely at the reply:


Lord Bourne does not even attempt to argue with my contention that the planned emissions cuts in the UK go way beyond the rest of the EU and that they will be horrifically expensive.

His only justification is that “This Government is committed to the Climate Change Act”.

[Significantly, he does not make the claim that Bob Ward did the other week, that the proposals for the Fifth Carbon Budget are the most cost effective way of meeting the 2050 target]


Secondly, while he waffles on about the Paris Agreement, he does not dispute, or deal with, the fact that Paris is likely to see an increase in global emissions by 2030.


I also find this statement extraordinary:

“And as global action ramps up, this will support innovation and economies of scale which will drive down the costs of climate action as well as starting to level the playing field for UK businesses.”

If the costs of renewables and so on are expected to fall, why on earth are we locking ourselves into long term contracts now? I am grateful too that he has acknowledged that UK businesses have not got a level playing field at the moment. Perhaps he would care to tell us just how long it will be before we have?


Finally he claims that the UK fought hard to secure an EU target of 40%. But he fails to explain that if the UK makes greater savings, as proposed, other EU countries will simply be allowed to get away with smaller savings.

If he is serious about setting a stiffer target for the EU, surely the way to do it is make greater savings on our part conditional on any deal, not to have already thrown them on the table.


Summing up, I find it depressing that are politicians are so keen to unquestioningly  land the country with such a massive bill, and all for little or no benefit.

  1. June 3, 2016 6:40 pm

    The only rationale I can divine is that a small number of Lords, MPs, and ex-MPs are doing very nicely out of it indeed. The depths of venality are un-plumb-able.
    Doubtless it is all strictly “legal” but look who sets the laws.
    The divide between the people and the government widens daily.

  2. June 3, 2016 7:21 pm

    It is depressing but not surprising. I have a fat file full of similar letters that I have received from Government ministers over the last 10 years. I am particularly annoyed by the continual reference to “hardworking families”. Of course these letters are drafted by some PR minion at DECC, and they are obviously given a list of phrases that they must include in all responses. Other people I know have all received near identical responses from ministers, all containing the same stock phrases. Clearly no thought goes into understanding the points of the questions or in drafting the responses. At one point in a chain of letters back and forward (via my MP) to a minister I resorted to numbering each question to which I requested an individual answer. Needless to say, I did not get numbered responses, just the usual waffle and stock phrases. I gave up at that point as my forehead was getting too many bruises and the bricks were in danger of falling out.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      June 3, 2016 8:55 pm

      I may not have a “fat file of letters”, but the two I have received in response to questions put to my MP are much the same – they simply don’t answer my points, and gloss over any criticism.

  3. June 3, 2016 7:45 pm

    Labour seems second only to the Lib Dems in their climate change zealotry, no wonder they are losing their traditional working class voters in droves. CC is de rigueur for the Lib Dems, their core voters demand fundamentalist orthodoxy, but Labour has seriously lost the plot.

    The future belongs to the party that can extend wealth creation to ordinary workers, and sidelines obsessions with global issues.

  4. Pathway permalink
    June 3, 2016 8:23 pm

    Britain is doomed.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      June 3, 2016 9:16 pm

      No we aren’t.

      Stop being so bloody defeatist and get off your arse!

  5. Alan Haile permalink
    June 3, 2016 8:34 pm

    Why does Lord Bourne want global average temperatures to be ‘well below 2C’ ??

    Wont that make it rather cold?

    • June 4, 2016 5:36 am

      Not the way politicians treat averages. If the Antarctic is a cold -29C and the rest of the world is a benign 25C, then lo, the average temperature is -2C. It’s simple, as any BBC environment or science correspondent will tell you.

  6. Green Sand permalink
    June 3, 2016 9:34 pm

    Ah, another elected forwarding agency.

  7. Billy Liar permalink
    June 3, 2016 11:56 pm

    ‘We don’t plan to answer any of your questions but here’s a load of verbiage instead.’

  8. June 4, 2016 9:58 am

    Sadly all that can be achieved by prodding most UK politicians on climate questions is to get confirmation that they are content to parrot IPCC dogma ad infinitum.

  9. Bloke down the pub permalink
    June 4, 2016 11:06 am

    A typical example of the UK’s negotiations with the EU. We stamp our feet and tell them that the EU should have an average 40% cut in emissions, they say ‘ok if you insist but you’ll have to make the biggest cuts’.

  10. Dodgy Geezer permalink
    June 4, 2016 2:30 pm

    The interpretation of this answer is quite straightforward.

    1 – Your MP doesn’t want to get involved in a contentious subject.
    2 – The Government have made up their minds, and don’t want to discuss it.
    3 – Go away.

    • CheshireRed permalink
      June 4, 2016 7:57 pm

      Was reading each post before posting my own comment – and Dodgy has it 100% right. (imo) They just don’t want to engage, so don’t. The letter was probably on file and they just changed your details Paul.

  11. BLACK PEARL permalink
    June 4, 2016 5:36 pm

    Wasnt it £46billion received in UK emission taxes 2014
    363 billion euros in the EU area last year

    Would they be able to warrant that level of taxation from Vat & income .. nope!
    Thats why expecting any logical reply’s will be unlikely

    Most MP’s will be disinterested… & rocking the boat is no good for their positions
    So glossed over reply’s will forever be the norm

    If Trump gets the presidents job we might see action coming from that direction
    Also a Brexit may allow some voice
    otherwise Climate Change is hear to stay rain or shine … probably !

  12. Slipknot permalink
    June 4, 2016 6:09 pm

    When the wind blows from the East, our pollution levels rise. When the wind blows from the West, Europe’s pollution levels drop. Europe benefits from our lower levels and we suffer with their higher levels. That’s where the lack of a level playing field comes in. However, no amount of logic will ever change the status quo.

  13. David Richardson permalink
    June 4, 2016 8:01 pm

    It is a waste of time prodding these people – thankfully my MP is more sceptical.

    Many are making a fine living off the scam, as others have said, but the main reason cAGW will die like a pantomime villain is TAXATION.

    As Black Pearl says above, they simply could not replace the money.

    Imagine if tomorrow Climate Science (sic) told politicians that they had absolute proof that CO2 was not to blame – can you see George Osborne telling us he could do without the £75bn per year he receives in green taxes??!!

  14. June 5, 2016 2:06 pm

    You wrote to Angela but she did not reply to you. Perhaps you should ask her for her views on Bourne’s letter? And for example, what is her position on this qu?

    …… Do you agree that we should revise legislation to reflect a cut of 40% by 2030 and thereby avoid the massive extra costs projected?

    Surely its not “dont know”?

    Am I being naive?

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