Government environmental measures may already have helped to slow down global warming, an energy minister has claimed. Baroness Sandip Verma said the rate of warming might have decreased, which could support the effectiveness of green policies.
Her comments came as Viscount Ridley, a Conservative peer and critic of government efforts to stop temperature rises, questioned her on when warming would start again.
He told peers at question time in the House of Lords: ‘The fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change has confirmed in the same words that there has been a hiatus in global warming for at least the last 15 years.’
And he asked Lady Verma: ‘Would you give us the opinion of your scientific advisers as to when this hiatus is likely to end?’
Lady Verma told him: ‘You raise a couple of issues that we would dispute in a longer debate, but what we do recognise is that there a change in weather patterns happening across the globe, that climate change is occurring.
‘It may have slowed down, but that is a good thing. It could well be that some of the measures we are taking today is helping that to occur.’ […]
‘[The fifth report] is likely to say yet again that there is incontrovertible proof now that climate change is a serious issue and we all must take notice of that,’ Baroness Worthington added.
She asked Lady Verma: ‘Would you accept that Friday might be a good opportunity to point that out to some of the backbenchers in your party.’
Lady Verma replied: ‘It isn’t just about backbenchers on my side. I think it is about making sure we deliver an informed debate and perhaps, thus far, that debate hasn’t really taken place.’
Independent research recently discovered that, since the turn of the century, there has been little increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s surface.