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Artificially forcing up energy prices is indeed a tipping point for many companies. The Government should heed the warning from manufacturing industry.

The manufacturers association the EEF has warned that a ‘tipping point’ has been reached on the impact of Government policy on climate change.

The burdens were making it uncompetitive for industrialists to invest and create jobs in the UK.

The Prime Minister has spoken of wanting a better balanced economy where we ‘make things’ but climate change policy is pushing us in the opposite direction.

Contrary to what the BBC tell us the science of climate change is not ‘settled’.

The evidence over global warming – its existence, extent and consequences – is mixed and a matter of intense controversy among experts.

What is clear is that driving business abroad can not possibly make sense when it comes to saving the planet.

Jobs and prosperity are being sacrificed for a futile gesture.

Added to the costs for manufacturers is the complexity of the regulations and the concern that yet further layers will be added.

While there is widespread public scepticism towards Climate Change orthodoxy there is a general political consensus – punctured by the odd dissenting voice.

The BBC recently produced a report justifying their output offering little challenge to the climate change orthodoxy.

But orthodoxies can change. As former Cabinet Secretary Lord Turnball responded: ‘One can imagine how consensus as the measure of “due weight” might have been applied in history.

‘A knighthood for Charles Darwin? Sorry, public opinion is strongly against your theory of evolution. (He never did receive a knighthood.) Signor Galileo? We cannot permit publication of your work on the solar system as it flies in the face of centuries of Christian teaching.’

Lord Lawson, a former Energy Secretary as well as having been Chancellor of the Exchequer, speaks out in the House of Lords and via the Global Warming Policy Foundation think tank.

Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary justifies his plans for a ‘carbon floor price’ to drive up fuel bills saying: ‘Left untouched, the electricity market would allow a new dash for gas.’

But Lawson retorts: ‘Indeed, so it would and so it should.

‘The most dramatic technological breakthrough in the world of energy since my time as Secretary of State almost 30 years ago is the very recent development of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which together have made the production of gas from shale economic and highly competitive.’

America’s technically and commercially recoverable shale gas reserves are twice as abundant as they previously thought meaning the U.S. is set to overtake Russia as the world’s largest gas producer.

Lawson adds: ‘Per kilowatt of electricity generated, gas produces only half the carbon emissions of coal, so it is quite possible that by switching from coal to gas, the UK might be able to meet or at least get very close to the 2020 target for emissions reductions enshrined in the Climate Change Act.’

So meddling in the market cold prove utterly counterproductive in environmental terms while imposing an extra economic burden at a time we can ill-afford it.

Unilateralist was widely used as a term for those who favoured Britain’s nuclear disarmament regardless of any agreement from other countries to do the same.

Now we have the green unilateralists. It is embodied in Government policy by the Climate Change Act that imposes legal requirements on the UK concerning CO2 emissions that apply regardless of the rest of the world.

Forcing energy-using industries to migrate abroad can not make sense however convinced you might be that global warming is a reality.

We are already uncompetitive so far as tax and regulation is concerned – something the ‘green agenda’ contributes to.

Artificially forcing up energy prices is indeed a tipping point for many companies.

The Government should heed the warning from manufacturing industry.

The Daily Mail, 3 August 2011