Dominic Raab MP pressures the Government for transparency over the cost of climate policy

January 19, 2012 9:30 AM

All the way back in February 2010, I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) about the cost of climate policies.  The Government had backed the European Union's plan to increase its target to cut emissions from 20 to 30 per cent, which was projected to mean an even tougher target to cut emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.  I asked for how much the Government thought that would cost the British economy but they clammed up, claiming it would affect "international relations".  After a number of appeals they are still sticking to that argument, although it means we can't scrutinise the basis of that pledge in Copenhagen which the Government still hope to revive, but now fortunately Dominic Raab MP is taking up the case in Parliament, pushing for DECC to answer the question.

[caption id="attachment_42900" align="alignright" width="166" caption="Dominic Raab MP"][/caption]

Earlier this week he tabled a number of written questions to the Minister, attacking the issue from a number of different angles. Unfortunately so far all he is getting is more refusals to answer the question.  However if we keep up the pressure, hopefully the Ministers responsible - particularly the Secretary of State Chris Huhne, will live up to their own rhetoric about Freedom of Information and enable a more informed debate about policy in this area.

On Monday, Dominic wrote a brilliant article for the ConservativeHome website setting out why the information should be disclosed and citing Chris Huhne's own argument that the Government should:

Strengthen freedom of information by giving greater powers to the information commissioner and reducing exemptions ... Scrap the ministerial veto that allowed the government to block the release of the cabinet minutes relating to the Iraq war.


Sky News have reported about how pressure is growing to disclose the information and Neil O'Brien, Director of Policy Exchange, has written for the Telegraph website mentioning the case and asking why DECC is "so defensive about the costs of renewable energy".



Neil also talks about some new research by Policy Exchange which points out a number of the reasons why the Government's claim that their climate policies, and particularly renewable energy subsidies, won't increase bills is nonsense.  The report "estimates the full impact of renewable energy subsidies on an average household by 2020 (through bills, tax and costs of products and services) to be £400 per year – equivalent to 2.5p on VAT".

It is really important that we keep challenging the Government in this area.  With the huge scale of the investments planned, it just can't be right to steam ahead without a transparent and honest debate about the costs of the targets politicians have already put in place, and the ones they are still trying to sign us up to.All the way back in February 2010, I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) about the cost of climate policies.  The Government had backed the European Union's plan to increase its target to cut emissions from 20 to 30 per cent, which was projected to mean an even tougher target to cut emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.  I asked for how much the Government thought that would cost the British economy but they clammed up, claiming it would affect "international relations".  After a number of appeals they are still sticking to that argument, although it means we can't scrutinise the basis of that pledge in Copenhagen which the Government still hope to revive, but now fortunately Dominic Raab MP is taking up the case in Parliament, pushing for DECC to answer the question.

[caption id="attachment_42900" align="alignright" width="166" caption="Dominic Raab MP"][/caption]

Earlier this week he tabled a number of written questions to the Minister, attacking the issue from a number of different angles. Unfortunately so far all he is getting is more refusals to answer the question.  However if we keep up the pressure, hopefully the Ministers responsible - particularly the Secretary of State Chris Huhne, will live up to their own rhetoric about Freedom of Information and enable a more informed debate about policy in this area.

On Monday, Dominic wrote a brilliant article for the ConservativeHome website setting out why the information should be disclosed and citing Chris Huhne's own argument that the Government should:

Strengthen freedom of information by giving greater powers to the information commissioner and reducing exemptions ... Scrap the ministerial veto that allowed the government to block the release of the cabinet minutes relating to the Iraq war.


Sky News have reported about how pressure is growing to disclose the information and Neil O'Brien, Director of Policy Exchange, has written for the Telegraph website mentioning the case and asking why DECC is "so defensive about the costs of renewable energy".



Neil also talks about some new research by Policy Exchange which points out a number of the reasons why the Government's claim that their climate policies, and particularly renewable energy subsidies, won't increase bills is nonsense.  The report "estimates the full impact of renewable energy subsidies on an average household by 2020 (through bills, tax and costs of products and services) to be £400 per year – equivalent to 2.5p on VAT".

It is really important that we keep challenging the Government in this area.  With the huge scale of the investments planned, it just can't be right to steam ahead without a transparent and honest debate about the costs of the targets politicians have already put in place, and the ones they are still trying to sign us up to.

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