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Greenpeace And Other Secret Sources Funding Attack On UK’s Energy Security

March 24, 2019

By Paul Homewood


h/t Patsy Lacey

I have reported a few times on the ECJ judgement against the UK’s Capacity Market mechanism. The UK has actually done nothing, and the judgement is actually against the EU Commission, who the ECJ say did not follow proper procedures when approving the mechanism in 2014.

The original case was brought by a tiny energy company, Tempus Energy, who have subsequently instigated legal action here as well, to put a stop to all CM payments.

I asked the question at the time of the ECJ judgement how a tiny company could afford to bring what was clearly an extremely expensive case.

Jillian Ambrose, to her credit, has some of the answers:



‘To be honest, nobody thought they would win,” says one industry source. “Actually, I don’t think even they thought they would pull this off.”

The energy industry transition has long served as a battlefield between power and money. But in a multi-billion-pound coup, one energy start-up has emerged as David in the fight against the industry’s incumbent power-generating Goliaths.

The triumph of Tempus Energy, a 10-strong technology upstart, in a European Court battle against power plant subsidies has rocked the industry to its core. A shock court ruling in November has forced the scheme, which aims to stem the closure of power plants by awarding supply contracts worth £1bn a year, into a legal limbo that could take years to resolve.

The move strikes a blow to the heart of the energy system by posing an existential threat to plant operators and a “real and present danger” to the UK’s energy security, according to industry lobbyists Energy UK.

The back-up capacity sector has been brought to a standstill, wiping hundreds of millions of pounds from the market value of Britain’s biggest players at a stroke.

The industry has largely looked on in quiet bafflement; how can a struggling start-up wield this kind of power over a cornerstone policy?

“The scheme wasn’t perfect,” says the source. It was envisaged as a stopgap to keep the lights on while investment in clean power rolls out, but attracted fierce criticism from campaigners who have branded the scheme a free handout for fossil fuels. “But pulling the rug out from under the energy system has not won Tempus many friends within the industry. We have to assume they are being helped by those with a political agenda,” the source said.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that this plucky underdog is backed by a cast of secretive shareholders and anonymous donors guarded by confidentiality agreements. Under EU rules, pressure groups and campaigners cannot challenge state-aid laws but there is nothing to stop companies from doing so while using their funds.

Greenpeace can be revealed as one of those helping to fund the case against the UK Government in the High Court. John Sauven, the group’s executive director, says it has helped fund the campaign because it tackles “an extremely important issue”.

The start-up, led by its founder Sara Bell, argues that by propping up old power plants governments are making it harder for new technologies to find a foothold in the market. After years creating the back-office systems used by the City’s largest banks, Bell set out in 2012 to create an artificial intelligence system that can help companies use less energy. In the UK, Tempus has struggled to market its software, which helps companies to make money by turning down their energy use at times of high demand. It blames government policy for favouring power plant payments to turn their generation up, over paying consumers to turn their demand down. Both options should be allowed to compete in the scheme’s auctions on a level playing field, she says.

“It is outrageous that electricity customers were being forced to stump up their hard-earned cash for a scheme that largely excludes them, while increasing dangerous pollution and shortening our lives,” she says.

When ministers assured investors that it would keep the scheme afloat, Tempus turned to the UK High Court to seek enforcement action, now with the heft of international human rights law firm Leigh Day behind it. The practice, founded by former Greenpeace chairman Martyn Day, will represent Tempus for a fixed fee.

Bell is cagey about who else is helping to bankroll its pan-European legal campaign, now akin to a crusade. It has grown in numbers in recent years, galvanised by growing concerns over the impact of climate change.

Tempus is required by law to publish a public register of its shareholders on Companies House. Unusually though, many of its 280 investors are listed by their surname only. John Coomber, the former chief executive of insurance giant Swiss Re, is understood to be an investor but is listed only as “Coomber”, for example.

Greenpeace protest

Greenpeace is backing the campaign to end subsidies for fossil fuels Credit: ROLAND WEIHRAUCH/DPA

Bell says she respects the privacy of her shareholders – otherwise future investment is at risk, she adds – but insists that the company’s records are still compliant with the law.

“No shareholder is specifically funding any legal action,” she says. “Our legal action was disclosed to shareholders before our investment rounds and shareholders were fully on board with the need to take aggressive action to open up the market.”

She says the level of resources devoted to the legal case “are relatively trivial”, while the substantial costs were funded directly by “numerous individuals and organisations focused on climate action”.

Unusually for climate campaigners, they have also requested anonymity, according to Bell.

“These supporters are not Tempus shareholders and they wish, and have the right, to remain anonymous. We signed a confidentiality agreement with them and I would be in breach of that agreement if I disclosed their names,” she says.


Am I the only one to find this very worrying?

As the article says, it is rare that eco-warriors request anonymity. It is bad enough that Greenpeace should be funding action to undermine the UK’s energy security, in league with a self confessed climate fanatic, Sara Bell.

But who else is supplying what must be large funds to assist?

Financiers who stand to make a quick buck? The Russians? A bunch of green loonies?

What is abundantly clear is that the country’s energy security should not be subject to the vagaries of the EU.

In the meantime, short of sticking two fingers up at the courts, what can the UK Government do about it?

I would suggest a couple of things:

1) Immediately suspend all payments of subsidies to new renewable schemes. After all, why waste more money on the very things which make the Capacity Market necessary.

2) Impose a surcharge on all intermittent energy producers. The funds raised should be used to pay for reliable capacity via the National Grid’s Supplementary Balancing Reserve. Although this was designed to be a short term solution, it will hopefully ensure sufficient capacity in the short term.


In the longer term, UK law needs to reassert superiority in matters of vital national interest.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    March 24, 2019 9:50 pm

    Very interesting, Paul.

    Thanks for bringing the issue to your readers attention.

  2. John F. Hultquist permalink
    March 24, 2019 9:59 pm

    I think this cartoon fits:

  3. jack broughton permalink
    March 24, 2019 10:06 pm

    Two points strike me:
    1. There is no one in government (or among their advisers apparently) with the slightest understanding of real power generation practicality and economics. They seem to believe in virtual power meeting all needs, and subsidies being irrelevant.
    2. Gillian Ambrose could not identify the powers behind the funding of Tempus. This is my biggest worry: who is behind the media power that controls all news about AGW, and why are they doing this?

    • Dick Goodwin permalink
      March 24, 2019 11:44 pm

      1) Maybe ask Sir Ed Davey to be consultant for the energy sector, that should push everything over a cliff in a week.

      • dennisambler permalink
        March 25, 2019 10:31 am

        He is on the Advisory Board of the Grantham Institutes, I suspect that might be a source of funding.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      March 25, 2019 12:22 pm

      Jack, Globalists are behind it and it is all laid out in UN Agendas 21, 2030 and Sustainability.
      It is a conspiracy in plain sight.

    • March 26, 2019 2:48 pm

      Climatologist Dr. Tim Ball names the Bankster Rockefellers & multi-billionaire cronies like George Soros, Maurice Strong & Ted Turner as funders of the warming/climate “environmental” fraud.

      He identifies, correctly IMHO, the motives behind UN Agenda 21 etc & the CAGW fraud as a vast depopulation, the killing of capitalism & its industrial engine toward a feudal, post industrial future of Lords & serfs, under a one world totalitarian govt, based on the UN, for which all nations will need to be destroyed. Or perhaps they will settle for Orwell’s 3 eternally warring Empires?

      In only 121 pages Dr. Tim reveals the science, scandals, politics & profiteers behind the diabolic plot: Human Caused Global Warming, The Biggest Deception In History.

      John Doran.

      • March 26, 2019 5:16 pm

        Attacking reliable energy fits right in with this brave feudal future.

        Greenpeace seems to have evolved from its worthy start as an anti-whaling, pro-environmental movement into an anti-human Communist front, fully complicit in the Banksters’ depopulation & anti-power policies.
        PhD ecologist & co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore left when Greenpeace announced a policy to ban chlorine, essential to clean water.
        He was the only scientist on the board after an influx of Communists, post the fall of the Berlin wall.

        Nuclear PhD engineer Robert Zubrin reveals how clean, reliable, safe & economic fission power has been relentlessly & falsely demonised by the fake news MSM, which is totally slave to the 1%s, (as is our spineless UK govt), & rendered less economic by excess bureaucracy, safety regulations & changes to specifications during the construction process.
        Fusion research has been impeded by under-funding & again excess bureaucrats.
        He has also detailed the elite depopulation policies & unpleasant tactics.
        The most outrageous of these was the 1972 “banning” of DDT, by the US EPA, Environmental Protection Agency.
        This cost in the region of 100 million lives lost to the dreadful death of malaria, mostly women & children in the third world. A true holocaust.

        Rubin’s well referenced & indexed book draws quite heavily on the work of brilliant economist Julian L. Simon, who proves, to my satisfaction, that population pressures push both progress & prosperity. This, of course, flies full in the face of the overpopulation lies we are constantly inundated with by the MSM.

        The anti-power & anti-population policies will thus properly be seen as a direct assault on our industrial society & people.

        The reason for this , I believe, is that the Banksters’ scheme of fiat money created out of thin air, as debt, is coming to an end.

        Zubrin’s book: Merchants Of Despair.
        Simon’s book: The Ultimate Resource 2.

        The Ultimate resource is human ingenuity, which the doomsters NEVER factor in to their dire projections, but which, in partnership with hard work & increasing numbers, make a prosperous future possible, indefinitely.

        John Doran.

  4. Thomas Carr permalink
    March 24, 2019 10:07 pm

    Self righteous action by Greenpeace borders on the criminal. The Home Office should take an interest.

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    March 24, 2019 10:22 pm

    Not something I know anything about, but is GP in the UK a charity and is this activity compatible with that status?

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      March 25, 2019 8:33 am

      These “Charities” are compartmentalised, so the “Charity” bit, is separated from the political lobbyist bit.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        March 25, 2019 9:42 am

        In that case, usually when the law is transparently being circumvented to nullify the intended effect of the law, the law is changed.

      • Rupert Wyndham permalink
        March 25, 2019 5:10 pm

        In short, Chinese Walls – but, as someone noted a couple of decades ago in the case of big accountancy firms, the problem with Chinese Walls is that they’re full of chinks.

  6. March 24, 2019 10:27 pm

    We can have no confidence that this Government knows or cares, any more about UK energy security than energy production or “energy greenery”.
    Some of them probably approve more of WWF, Greenpeace, FOE and the like more than UK plc
    The left-liberals certainly do!

    • dennisambler permalink
      March 25, 2019 10:58 am

      Defra and FCO are full of revolving door NGO personnel, going back to Blair. For instance E3G: Check out Mabey, Burke, Ashton for starters. There are also EU imports as well. I’m sure they still talk to their friends and former colleagues in the appropriate departments.

      When you move down you find people like Camilla Born, who is also Chair and trustee of George Marshall’s Climate Outreach, which is part of a collaboration with UEA in setting up a new £5 million climate propaganda unit.

      “The University of East Anglia is collaborating on the centre led by Cardiff University with the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST), Manchester and York Universities, and charity Climate Outreach.”

      The NGO network is massive, like a fungal mycelium, you never know where they are going to pop up next.

  7. Graeme No.3 permalink
    March 24, 2019 10:27 pm

    To your 2 suggestions I would add a third – Brexit, so the EU and ECJ have no control on UK policies.

    • Adamson permalink
      March 25, 2019 7:18 am

      Don’t be ridiculous

      • Adam Gallon permalink
        March 25, 2019 8:35 am

        Not at all ridiculous. If you read the Maybot’s WA, tying us to the EU’s green policies is a central point.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        March 25, 2019 9:02 am

        How ridiculous?

      • Gerry, England permalink
        March 25, 2019 1:52 pm

        I can assure you that should we get to the Withdrawal Agreement – although the retarded MPs seem most likely to condemn us to no deal – then the future trade deal negotiations will include abiding by the Paris Agreement and other green crap. That is the huge flaw with outdated trade deals as opposed to global industrial sector standards. Of course, had we followed the sensible option of Efta/EEA membership, then none of that would apply.

  8. Joe Public permalink
    March 24, 2019 10:35 pm

    Greenpeace – criticiser of tax-breaks for our O&G industries, but astute enough to position itself as a charity specifically to enjoy the tax breaks from HMG.

  9. HotScot permalink
    March 24, 2019 10:50 pm

    There is one concept that has been eroded over many generations. Never let governments have the slightest control over Law.

    Two, of many, that are relevant to me right now are the compulsion to pay a TV licence to watch TV, or risk a criminal prosecution and, the compulsion to obtain permission to hang a picture on the wall of a listed building without permission (I kid you not), or risk a criminal prosecution.

    These are not crimes that do anyone any harm. They are not theft, nor vandalism, they are simply the means by which government imposes it’s will on society.

    Remember that the next time you say, or hear someone say “The government ought to do something about that” because it’s one little step further into totalitarian governance.

    And I’ll give you one other small example (as yet) to sleep on. You are almost as likely to be referred to your MP when reporting a minor crime these days, than have the police deal with it.

    That is truly scary.

  10. bobn permalink
    March 25, 2019 12:53 am

    So Greenpeace fund legal action against the EU, but the EU continues to give grants and our money to Greenpeace – so Greenpeace can continue to sue the EU. So while greenpeace are evil, the EU are total idiots.
    Fly free on a no deal Brexit on 29 March! Then change our medieval (first past post) political system to a democratic one (proportional representation). Our parliament has proven to be a failure.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      March 25, 2019 1:57 am

      PR isn’t going to solve the way in which parties have hijacked democracy by offering us lobby fodder candidates who support the narrow ruling cabals they have established. We have to reclaim the parties and get rid of these lickspittles.

      • Derek Buxton permalink
        April 3, 2019 3:09 pm

        Yes, it is true that PR is a disaster, nothing ever gets done. We have seen it all over the world and like marxism it failed!

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      March 25, 2019 8:52 am

      No, all part of the process. These lobby organisations are funded by the EU, precisely so they can lobby for the policies that the EU Commission wants to implement.
      Now, I disagree with your wish for PR. As can be seen from the countries that operate this system, it leads to vast over representation & power for small political parties. During the horse trading needed to form a government, they hold the balance of power, “Implement these policies & give us the position of Minister for X & we’ll support you”.
      Look at Germany & the Bundestag, or even worse, Italy.

      • March 25, 2019 9:51 am

        Or in the UK, look at the DUP 😉

      • Phil permalink
        March 25, 2019 11:30 am

        Renee the Conservative Liberal coalition under Cameron. The minority Lib Dem’s price for their support? The Energy portfolio. Scary…

    • Gerry, England permalink
      March 25, 2019 1:57 pm

      The solution to our democratic shortfall is The Harrogate Agenda. This will give the people the power that they currently lack.

  11. Phoenix44 permalink
    March 25, 2019 9:01 am

    Is it right that such an obvious loophole exists in terms of state aid cases? A lobbying group simply has to get a company to do it?

  12. Gerry, England permalink
    March 25, 2019 2:00 pm

    India outlawed Greenpiss by ruling them damaging to their economy. would we could do the same. I have no doubt they have sharp enough people to claim that the charity and other arm are separate, but how do they make that clear when touting for funds?

  13. March 25, 2019 9:54 pm

    Another Director of Tempus is the author of the scientifically and economically bankrupt UK Climate change act, that created the renewable energy problem destabilisng the grid in the first place, the egotistical “Baroness” Bryony Worthington – who has plunged so many ordinary people into energy poverty to no useful effect on the climate, on which she is apparently an expert.

    Seems she did this to destabilise the grid so her Tempus chums could make yet more money out of stabilising an avoidable problem she caused, at yet greater expense. The final insult to energy science and economics is that this fatuous fraudster managed to be made a Baroness, in spite of the fact she has no class, which is a shocking waste of another £300 per day of public money.

    You can’t make it up. That’s their job.

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