23 Aug 2010

Neil Carmichael is a believer! But will he act on coal?

The Guardian recently carried out a survey of MPs and their views on Climate Change - see here - well they sent three "yes or no" questions by email to all 650 MPs. The result? Stunning apathy, mainly. Only 75, about 11%, answered. Virtually all who did reply – 71 – were believers and said yes to all three of the questions below. Two said no to all three – hard-core climate sceptics, in other words – and two objected to the phrasing of one of the questions – moderate climate sceptics, if you like. The party breakdown was as follows:

• 7 Conservative MPs: 5 believers, 1 hard-core and 1 moderate sceptic

• 16 Lib Dem MPs: all believers

• 48 Labour MPs: 46 believers, 1 hard-core and 1 moderate sceptic

• 2 Plaid Cymru and 1 SDLP MPs: All believers

• 1 Green Party MP: believer

Well I sent an email to Neil Carmichael and his assistant noted they get hundreds of questionnaires every week - I can understand it is difficult to answer but on this key issue I am surprised not more took time to respond. In fact Neil responded yes to all three questions below and I was able to send that info to the survey folk.

1. Does the MP agree that scientific evidence strongly suggests the world has been warming since the Industrial Revolution and will continue to do so? 2. Does the MP agree that scientific evidence strongly suggests that most of this warming is caused by emissions from human activities? 3. Does the MP agree the UK government should take urgent action to cut the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, in order to meet a target of at least 20% lower by 2020?

Infact Neil has been identified as one of six new 'green' Tories by his own party - see here. While I welcome this I do think it stands very much at odds with his failure to support wind turbines at Stinchcombe. However we can now add him to the believer category in The Guardian survey....but actions will be more important than words....

In reply I have asked if he will oppose new coal fired power stations.

In February Conservative and Lib Dem MPs backed the campaign to set limits on CO2 emissions from new coal fired power stations. Both Conservatives and Lib Dems promised that if they won the election, limits would be introduced in their new Energy Bill. But it's was reported they are planning to break their promise - and indeed it now seems they have - see Guardian here.

David Cameron made the introduction of new rules to stop the most polluting power stations one of his flagship green policies, and Nick Clegg helped ensure it was a key part of the coalition agreement. How can they possibly drop this now?

It seems that since the election, energy company lobbyists have piled pressure on the Tories and Lib Dems to do a U-turn. We must fight this. Click here to e-mail your MP and demand they support new rules to clean up new coal fired power stations: www.38degrees.org.uk/clean-up-coal

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