Peter Lilley is Member of Parliament for Hitchin and Harpenden. Follow Peter on Twitter.
The most potent line in Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech was “Obama promised to stop the sea rising and to heal the planet; I promise to help struggling American families”. Our government is vulnerable to similar ridicule as the costs of policies to decarbonise our economy are starting to hit families and firms.
Maybe the reshuffle will give us an opportunity to reconsider whether such a costly programme is either necessary or affordable – especially if we want to win back the votes of struggling British families and businesses.
Ministers have been assuring people that the benefits of climate policies to the world exceed the costs to British taxpayers. But a study I have just released demonstrates that those assurances lack any credible economic basis.
The government’s defence of its climate change policy rests on two pillars. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change "settled the science. It is a slightly shaky pillar since the Council of National Science Academies criticised the IPCC “for emphasising the negative impacts of climate change … reporting high confidence in some statements for which there is little evidence”..