Climate Policy does more damage than Climate Change

Peter Lilley MP

An important new study by Peter Lilley confirms the view that the Stern Review was just plain wrong, and that the costs of climate mitigation substantially exceed the harm that might be done by climate change, even if you accept the IPCC view that man-made CO2 emissions are causing a problem.  I am quoting Peter’s Press Release in full — because Peter is right, and the argument cannot be set out too often.


Press Release

London, 4 September: As the cost of government measures to combat climate change hit households and businesses, a new study published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation casts grave doubts on the validity of the “Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change” which the government relies on to justify its policies.

The substantial study, by Peter Lilley MP, is the most thorough analysis of the Stern Review so far undertaken. It takes the IPCC’s view of the science of global warming as given, but points out that Stern’s economic conclusions contradict the views of most of the world’s leading environmental economists and even the economic conclusions of the IPCC itself. The study also catalogues a series of errors and distortions in the Stern Review “any one of which would have caused it to fail peer review”.

Because Stern’s conclusions endorsed policies adopted by both government and opposition and its highly tendentious assumptions were not explicit, it was initially accepted without public scrutiny.

The new study shows the Stern Review to depend critically on “selective choice of facts, unusual economic assumptions and a propagandist narrative — which would never have passed peer review”.

Describing it as “policy based evidence”, Peter Lilley argues that the government can no longer rely on it to justify expenditure of many billions of pounds and calls for a return return instead to “evidence-based policies”.

Stern’s central conclusion that “If we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year now and forever” whereas “the costs of action — reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change — can be limited to around 1% of GDP each year” is found to be entirely fallacious.

Lilley’s study demonstrates that the benefits of curbing emissions now and henceforth will not be five times the cost of action, as Stern claims. “It is achieved by verbal virtuosity combined with statistical sophistry. In fact, even on Stern’s figures, the cumulative costs of reducing greenhouse gases will exceed the benefits until beyond 2100″, Lilley points out.

“If we continue to follow Stern’s advice, the principal losers, apart from British taxpayers and businesses, would be developing countries who cannot raise living standards without massively increasing their use of fossil fuels and will therefore be responsible for most of the growth of carbon emissions,” Lilley argues.

Lilley asks: “why should this comparatively poor generation make the sacrifices Stern demands to improve living standards of people in 2200 who, if we take no action to prevent global warming – – even on the worst scenario depicted by Stern — will be 7 times better off than us?

Lilley calls on the government to cease basing its climate change policy on the flawed Stern Review and commission a new independent cost benefit study of alternative strategies.

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8 Responses to Climate Policy does more damage than Climate Change

  1. Ilma says:

    One in the eye for Tim Yeo & friends (Gummer, Cameron, Clegg, Uncle Tom Cobble y & all).

  2. mikestallard says:

    I am impressed by the sheer common sense of this blog. The government is fast falling behind and is rapidly getting out of date especially with climate change.
    Who is pulling it back? Is it the EU? Is it the Civil Service? Is it the LibDems?
    We badly need some common sense and very fast too.

    • Well Mike, I think it starts at the top. The Prime minister, who not only has close family interests and influences, gave full support to Australian Julia Gillards Carbon Tax. The one she said that no government of hers would ever implement. Thus proving there are no political limits to which he would not go to himself, on green issues. He is of course supported in this by his deputy prime minister who also has close family interests in current climate change policy. With leadership like this, why look for anyone else to blame?

    • May I commend my new UKIP energy policy booklet, which will be launched at Party Conference in a couple of weeks. Taster: “Climate Change is so last century”.

  3. Derek says:

    Peter Lilley has done a very thorough job. He is confirming what several other prominent economists have said about Stern. The problem is that this is unlikely to make any difference to the government policy, neither will a general election, unless a UKIP government is formed, and I fear that is not very likely. Although the science is weak the politicians seem settled on their ruinous course.

  4. Lt. Columbo says:

    Ooops, and another one bites the dust !

    Seems like climate collaborator Mr. Charles Hendry MP, is back to the back-benches !

    The long knives are out in the DECC and the BIS is appears.

    Who will be next for shaving ?

    In a surprise move, Energy Minister Charles Hendry has been axed in the government’s reshuffle to be replaced by Tory MP John Hayes. Writing on Twitter, Labour Peer Lady Bryony Worthington revealed earlier this afternoon that she had “just bumped in to Charles Hendry who is back to being a back bencher”, adding that the demotion was “a real shame.” Number 10 later confirmed Hendry had been replaced by MP for South Holland and the Deepings, John Hayes, who has moved from his role as Minister for Skills at the Department for Business.

    Faint praise from Bryony Worthington,
    is like a damning indictment, is it not ?

    Worthington is the founder of, “Sandbag”, a Community Interest Company, campaigning to increase public awareness of emissions trading. The organisation was announced in 2008 by Bryony Worthington and was the first (and founding) member of The Guardian’s Environment Network.

    The Sandbag website centres on the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme and allows its members to campaign to reduce the number of permits in circulation and to purchase permits and cancel them. Large corporations (such as vehicle manufacturers) must obtain these permits from the EU if they need to emit greenhouse gases during production. The purchase of these permits by the public prevents their use by corporations. Worthington described her organisation as “a bit like burning money in front of someone so they can’t spend it on something bad.”

    ……… The vultures are circling now !

  5. Have a laugh at this, Roger! says:

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