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Nigel Lawson Slams Greg Clark’s Energy Speech

Global Warming Policy Forum, Press Release

The government’s response to the Helm Cost of Energy Review shows it is putting green ideology ahead of the welfare of families and the competitiveness of British business, Lord Lawson has warned.

Thirteen months after publication of Dieter Helm’s Cost of Energy Review in October 2017, Greg Clark has at last responded by kicking all Helm’s recommendations into the long grass.

Helm’s conclusion was the most damning ever made by an official report on government policy, warning that continuing with current policy would perpetuate the ‘crisis mentality’ of the energy sector.

‘It will continue the unnecessary high costs of the British energy system, and as a result perpetuate fuel poverty, weaken industrial competitiveness, and undermine public support for decarbonisation,’ Helm concluded.

Commenting on Greg Clark’s ‘After the trilemma’ speech (15 November), Nigel Lawson, whose 1982 speech started energy liberalisation, said:

‘Greg Clark is repeating all the mistakes of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. As Dieter Helm’s excellent report shows, government planning, picking losers and second guessing the market is a disaster in the making.

‘Mr. Clark has rejected Helm’s recommendation of carbon pricing on the grounds that it needs border adjustments to avoid, in his own words, decimating our important industries. As Mr. Clark well knows, the costs of decarbonisation haven’t gone away and his green energy policies impose a higher shadow carbon price, making these industries even more uncompetitive and accelerating their rundown.

‘In particular I take exception to Mr. Clark’s shameless misrepresentation of my views to falsely assert that high energy costs are good for business competitiveness. Mr. Clark admits that British businesses face the highest energy costs in Europe. Mr. Clark’s energy policies are the real threat to their continued survival.’