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‘Hypocrisy’ Of Climate Fears Chiefs Taking £1.5M Flights

Nathan Rao, Daily Express

CLIMATE change ministers sparked outrage last night for spending more than £1.5million on air travel.

A report from the TaxPayers’ Alliance claims the Department of Energy and Climate Change has taken 3,496 plane journeys since 2010. A total of 362 flights were in business class, 3,017 were in economy class, with £250,000 spent on domestic flights.

The report has caused anger among environmental campaigners and led to accusations of “hypocrisy”.

Benny Peiser, of Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: “This makes a mockery of their claims that we should all try to cut down on air travel. They are telling everybody else what to do without doing it themselves, it is very hypocritical.”

The Department has called for “ambitious action on climate change” and included flights in the European Union Emissions Trading System – making them more expensive.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Despite being one of the departments making air travel more expensive for people paying their own way, the DECC has spent an astonishing amount of taxpayers’ money on flights. This looks like breathtaking hypocrisy and extravagant waste.”

A DECC spokesman said: “The Department’s international work, which includes securing future energy supplies, negotiations with other countries and international organisations, and regulating the North Sea oil and gas industry, means that sometimes air travel is unavoidable.”

He added that the most cost- effective and suitable flights were identified.

Daily Express, 9 November 2012