Follow Douglas Carswell’s Lead: Reject the Climate Change Act

Posted: February 26, 2013 by tallbloke in Analysis, climate, Politics

If you live in the UK, get yourself over here and sign the epetition to scrap the Climate Change Act.
UPDATE. From GWPF: Breaking news from the European Parliament where a vote on the ETS Carbon Market has been inexplicably cancelled. See below Doug Carswell’s article.

I was wrong about the Climate Change Act
By Douglas Carswell MP

carswellMy biggest regret as an MP is that I failed to oppose the 2008 Climate Change Act. It was a mistake. I am sorry.

On the very day the Labour government passed this fatuous attempt to “stop global warming”, it was, if I remember rightly, snowing. Had I opposed the Bill, it wouldn’t have made much difference, but I feel I should have known better.

Unlike much of the gesture legislation that goes through Parliament, this law has turned out to have real consequences.  The Climate Change Act has pushed up energy prices, squeezing households and making economic recovery ever more elusive.

The aim of the Climate Change Act was to create a low carbon economy. I fear the Act will do that, but perhaps not the way intended. The Climate Change Act is giving us a low carbon economy the way that pre-industrial Britain had a low carbon economy.

Cutting carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2020 – as the Act requires – means, in effect, making energy costs so high that some will have to go without. How is that progress?

The Act’s carbon price floors push up prices. Instead of energy producers competing to supply households and businesses with a product at a price they are willing to pay, the legislation introduces a system of price fixing. Suppliers switch to so called “renewable” energy sources, and the end user pays.

An unaccountable quango – the Committee on Climate Change – gets to determine energy policy much the way that central bankers now run monetary policy. The precedent is not a good one. Adair Turner, head honcho at the Financial Service Authority, was its chairman.

The tragedy is that it does not have to be this way. Technological innovation is discovering new ways of obtaining vast reserves of fossil fuel. As our understanding grows, the idea that human activity alone causes climate change seems less certain than it once did. Wind turbines, it turns out, are renewable in the sense that they need replacing every 25 years – or perhaps even every 15.

Too often, public policy in Whitehall is shaped by residual ideas and assumptions – which turn out to be wrong. Nowhere is this more so than when it comes to energy policy. It is time for a fundamental rethink about energy policy – starting with an acknowledgment that 2008 Act has got it wrong.

UPDATE. From GWPF: Breaking news from the European Parliament where a vote on the ETS Carbon Market has been inexplicably cancelled:

Carbon Market Intrigue After European Parliament Vote Cancelled

A planned European Parliament vote today (26 February) on fast-tracking negotiations with EU states over carbon market reform was inexplicably cancelled as rumours and counter-rumours swirled around Brussels. 

The vote had been seen by many as a formality after parliament’s environment committee last week backed an EU proposal to ‘backload’ or delay the auction of 900 million carbon allowances to boost prices by creating uncertainty about their future supply.

But late yesterday afternoon, Matthias Groote, the German Socialist MEP and chairman of the environment committee, tweeted: “Backloading is not the subject of tomorrow’s session ENVI (environment committee) session. All other message are incorrect.”

Carbon prices immediately sank 15 cents with Marcus Ferdinand, a senior analyst for Reuters Thomson Point Carbon, telling EurActiv that markets now feared “more uncertainty and to the downside”.

“This could mean that Groote has decided that the majority in Envi is not convincing enough to make a decision and is waiting for the whole parliament to provide a mandate,” he said.

A plenary vote on the carbon market fix is still planned for April, despite rumours that it could be brought forward to March 11.

However, asked by EurActiv yesterday if he was confident of a victory in the plenary vote, Groote replied bluntly: “No”.  That was shortly before his tweet.

European Council amendment

The cancelled vote appeared to catch the Irish presidency on the hop. A draft European Council amendment which would have formed the basis of negotiations in the ‘trialogue’ between Parliament, the Council and the Commission had already been written, using almost identical language to the environment committee text last week.

The draft, which EurActiv has seen, notes a surplus of 955 million carbon allowances in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS). Without structural measures, it says this will increasingly depress prices and low carbon investments, and risk fossil fuel lock-ins

Read the rest here.


  1. This act was total folly and needs repealing immediately and we need to knock down these fatuous “windmills.”

  2. oldbrew says:

    Right after a comedian – no, not Berlusconi – wins 25% of the vote in the Italian election, leaving Italian politics in limbo. Maybe Groote was counting on their support?

  3. Galvanize says:


  4. A C Osborn says:

    Signed ages ago.

  5. Zeke says:

    “Even as the European Union continues to pursue ever-closer “integration” in the name of “global governance,” Obama is now working to form a “Trans-Atlantic partnership” between the U.S. government and the EU under the guise of a so-called “free trade” agreement. Formally announced in the United States during the president’s State of the Union address, the highly controversial deal — a scheme that has been under discussion since before the current administration came to power — is expected to take at least 18 months to complete. It also has the backing of both Big Business and Big Labor.”

  6. Brian H says:

    The real world value of a carbon allowance is zero, and the Invisible Hand will ensure, in a timely fashion, that that is what issuers and holders of allowances receive. Any preceding gains from them will be matched by subsequent equivalent (or greater) losses, including opportunity costs (see Bastiat, Broken Window Fallacy).