The man named by the Conservatives as a new key adviser on climate change has denied he is taking on such a role with the party – or any other. Nicholas Stern, a highly influential crossbench peer who has played a key part in creating the Government’s global warming policy, says he will be working not just with the Tories, but also with Labour and anyone else who is interested.
“I should stress that I am not, and have no plans to be, an adviser to any political party,” Lord Stern said in a statement.
“Climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy should be high on the agenda for every political party, not just to reduce the risks that result from greenhouse gas emissions but also to stimulate an exciting period of growth, creativity and innovation.
“I would be willing to speak to the Conservatives’ advisory group about their ideas for a Green Investment Bank, just as I am continuing to contribute to discussions with the Labour Government about policies on climate change.”
His statement may be an embarrassment for shadow chancellor George Osborne, who announced in a high-profile speech that he was “delighted that Lord Stern has agreed to advise us on the creation of this Green Investment Bank”.
Mr Osborne accused the Government of failing to support green technology and leaving Britain “lagging behind” rivals in the field.
He argued that a Green Investment Bank would consolidate Government backing for low-carbon technology, currently dispersed between a number of different funds, and help lever in private capital.