Monday, April 15, 2024
HomeClimate WatchThe climate scaremongers: The ‘independent’ committee driving Net Zero policy

The climate scaremongers: The ‘independent’ committee driving Net Zero policy


RECENTLY I wrote about the latest nonsense to emerge from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). 

Its impact on public policy over the years cannot be overstated. Most, if not all, of the hugely expensive and damaging policies now being pursued originated from the CCC, or were driven forward by them. Everything from heavily subsidised renewable energy to electric cars and heat pumps, and much more besides.

And throughout, the CCC have deliberately underplayed the true cost of their climate agenda. Two years ago, for instance, information released under Freedom of Information revealed that they had grossly underestimated the cost of Net Zero in their advice to Parliament. The CCC spent two years fighting the FoI in an attempt to keep this information from the public, wasting taxpayers’ money on legal fees in the process.

They are supposed to be independent, but in reality they are closely linked to the climate lobby. Most of the members have had long involvement with climate science or the renewable energy sector, and consequently they have a myopically one-sided view. There is nobody on the committee able or willing to provide a counter view to the groupthink, never mind point out the absurdities endorsed by the CCC, question their assumptions, or challenge the risks and costs of proposed policies.

There have long been questions about the business dealings of the CCC chair, Lord Deben, formerly known as the Tory MP John Selwyn Gummer. On more than one occasion, he has been accused of conflicts of interest.

For example, in 2019, it was revealed that his private company, Sancroft, had been paid more than £600,000 from ‘green’ businesses that stood to make millions from his advice to Ministers.The Commissioner for Standards dismissed a number of complaints but commented: I would note that it has not been straightforward to gather the necessary facts to reach my conclusion. I question whether the “reasonable person” envisaged by the Code should be expected to go to the lengths I have done to become aware of all the relevant facts. Without those facts, the complainants’ concerns about the perception of a conflict of interest is not unreasonable.’ 

Another leading member of the CCC since the outset is Baroness Brown of Cambridge. She was chair of the CCC’s Mitigation Committee until 2021. Since then she has continued in charge of the Adaptation Committee, which last month criticised the government’s failure to waste money on ‘adapting to climate change’.

It is quite astonishing then that for the last two years the Baroness has been a director of Orsted, the Danish company which has constructed so many of the offshore wind farms which litter our coast, and which has benefited handsomely from the policies proposed by the CCC. According to the House of Lords Register of Interests,  she earns £40,000 a year from Orsted, a bargain given that more than half of its revenue is generated in the UK.

Brown is also a director of Ceres Power Holdings, who describe themselves as ‘a leader in climate technology, enabling the world’s most progressive companies to deliver clean energy solutions at scale and at speed’. Yes, those very same clean energy solutions the CCC has been pushing for years.

On top of that she is chair of the Carbon Trust, a company that helps governments, organisations and companies reduce their carbon emissions.

It is indefensible that Baroness Brown still holds such a senior position in the CCC, given her clear conflicts of interest.

The WHO lies about India heatwave deaths

A report by the Economist, ‘India’s deadly heatwaves are getting even hotter’, claims that heatwaves are getting worse in South Asia because of global warming. The article notes that ‘between 2000 and 2019, South Asia saw over 110,000 heat-related excess deaths a year, according to a study in Lancet Planetary Health’.

The Economist article was retweeted by Dr Maria Neira, Director of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Her claim that 110,000 deaths a year are due to rising temperatures is false and grossly misleading.

The Lancet study looked at mortality associated with non-optimal temperatures worldwide, and this is what it concluded for South Asia:

So there has been an annual average of 111,613 excess deaths which were heat-related, but more than 900,000 deaths related to cold, something neither the Economist nor Dr Neira thought to mention.

The misinformation does not stop there. The study also found that temperatures had actually fallen in South Asia between 2000 and 2019. As a result, cold-related deaths had gone up, something which can be clearly seen in Figure 4 below. By contrast there had been little change in heat-related mortality.

Figure 4: Regional change in annual excess death ratio between 2000 and 2019 compared with the 2000–03 average

The reality is that there have always been heat-related deaths in India and the rest of the region. They are not caused by global warming, as Dr Neira explicitly claims.

 In fact it is cold that is the much bigger killer, something which is true around the rest of the world as well. Indeed cold-related deaths worldwide are eight times as high as heat-related ones. As a result, the overall number of temperature-related deaths has actually fallen globally.

But don’t expect the WHO or the Economist to celebrate this fact.

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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