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Climate ‘Unilateralism’ Leaves Lords Leaping About Cost To UK

No other country would inflict such damage on its economy, leading figures warn

Lord Turnbull, former cabinet secretary and head of the Home Civil Service (2002-2005), has called on MPs and ministers to reconsider the rising costs and economic risks of the UK’s unilateral climate policies. He also criticised the ’blind faith’ being shown in the propositions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) given doubts about its assumptions.

“Ministers would be well advised not to place such heavy bets on just one rather alarmist source of advice,” Lord Turnbull said.

His lordship’s comments are supported by Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). “Nobody should fall for [energy and climate change secretary] Chris Huhne’s green spin,” said Peiser, insisting that the UK’s proposed carbon targets must be conditional on new international agreements.

“The government’s claim that no other country has such targets is correct, as no other country wishes to inflict such damage on its business sector and economy,” added Lord Lawson, chairman of the GWPF. “We trust that, in the national interest, no serious attempt will be made by the government to attain these overly aggressive targets.”

CBI director-general John Cridland has, meanwhile, voiced concern about the impact of UK ’carbon-reduction’ policies on energy-intensive industries such as steel and chemicals.

Over the last 12 months the government has hit industry with the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), Carbon Floor Price and the recent hike in oil and gas tax, he noted.

“At a time when rebalancing of the economy needs UK manufacturing to be playing a bigger role, energy-intensive industrial users need more help. But the Budget unilaterally increased their cost base,” said Cridland.

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