Yesterday the Commons debated the Government’s Climate Change Bill and a commitment to reduce the UK’s carbon output by at least 60% by 2050.  Although the Conservative leadership supported the Bill it only imposed a one line whip fearing a big rebellion from sceptical Tory MPs.   Christopher Chope, David Heathcoat Amory, Peter Lilley, John Maples and John Redwood all raised tough questions about the Bill while Peter Ainsworth, Tony Baldry, John Gummer and Tim Yeo spoke in its support.  Concern was led by Andrew Tyrie, MP for Chichester.  We republish three key extracts from his contribution below.

Tyrie_andrew There is not a scientific consensus: "I note that
the only reliable survey that has been conducted of 550 of the world’s
leading climate scientists says that two thirds are convinced that most
of the observed warming is related to human action. In other words, a
third are not convinced of that. It is worth bearing in mind that many
of the so-called 2,500 scientists in the IPCC process vehemently
disagree with the panel’s conclusions, even though they support the
section on the science in the main report on which they have worked."

The dangers of unilateral action: "No other country has
been foolish enough to consider such a measure. It is a profound
mistake to take the unilateralist route. First, we contribute only 2
per cent. of global emissions. Secondly, if we go ahead unilaterally,
the UK will be disproportionately hit because we will increase our cost
base when other countries have not increased theirs. A third reason is
that although UK emissions will fall, they will reappear, probably at
even higher levels, as the industries that we closed down with our
higher cost base reopen in China and elsewhere. Finally, once we have
acted unilaterally, the Chinese will have every incentive to delay an
international agreement. That point has not been made at all today.
After all, why should they rush to agree anything when they can acquire
our industrial base and those of other countries silly enough to go it
alone? It is regrettable that the Government have not even thought
through the issue enough to make the Bill’s implementation conditional
on some action by others. At least the EU approach to cutting carbon
emissions contains some conditionality."

The hounding of climate change sceptics: "The subject
has acquired some of the characteristics of a religion: apocalyptic
predictions abound, and they make good copy. Over nearly 20 years since
I first looked at the issue when I was at the Treasury working for John
Major, I have become saddened by the way in which the calmer voices of
many orthodox scientists and economists, particularly those who do not
agree with the current policy prescriptions, have often been drowned
out. All the incentives are against speaking up about the subject. Some
have described Professor Lindzen of Massachusetts Institute of
Technology as the father of modern climate change. He wrote recently
that “scientists who dissent from…alarmism have seen their grant funds
disappear, their work derided, and themselves libelled as industry
stooges, scientific hacks or worse… Only the most senior scientist
today can stand up to this alarmist gale.”  I have spoken to a number
of the UK’s most senior specialists on the subject, and some feel
similarly coerced. I shall read to the House a quotation from one of
the major businesses in the UK. It says that “the more one looks
behind…climate change policy…the more it is based on patent
absurdities… Anybody who reveals the truth is scorned.” A leading
economist has said: “I have learnt that to say anything about the
subject is to be assailed by fundamentalist crackpots.”  Those people
are concerned about speaking up but cajoled into not doing so. That is
a bad climate in which to take such decisions as this Bill."