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« Quotes from the Lords debate | Main | Mann in Britannica »
Wednesday
Nov032010

House of Lords on climate change

It's a long time since I watched proceedings in the House of Lords and having sat through ten minutes of the third Baron Grantchester (Lab) I remembered why I had found better things to do for the last few years. That said, while there was a lot about Tuesday's debate about climate change and energy policy to get depressed about, there were also some points of interest.

The debate was entitled "That this House takes note of the future of energy policy in the light of the climate change challenge." (Hansard here - note that there are two separate pages of text to access).

I'll look at some of the silly things that were said in another post, but in the meantime, there was much fun to be had from comparing the subjects of the noble lords' contributions to the statements of interests with which most of them introduced their speeches.

Lord Grantchester, a billionaire landowner and farmer spoke at length about the feed in tariffs for farm anaerobic digestion schemes and called for a rise in the rates paid. Lord Whitty (Lab), the chairman of a combined heat and power company, welcomed the government's commitment to "increase decentralised energy". Lord Jenkin (Con), President of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear concentrated on increased use of nuclear power.

Baroness Maddock (LD) had a dilemma. She doubles as vice-president of National Energy Action, a charity that works to eliminate fuel poverty, and president of the Micropower Council, positions that pull her in opposite directions. Which would win out then: compassion or big business? Unfortunately for the poor people, her business interests seemed to take priority and she called for "reducing energy consumption and moving to sustainable sources of energy" to form the core of the nation's strategy.

There are probably more like this, but there is only so much of this grubby stuff that one can bear to read.

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Reader Comments (6)

The colour of money?

Nov 3, 2010 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

It's truly depressing to see (or hear) our leaders. I was just listening to an American political commentator saying that America used to be full of optimistic people - now everyone is pessimistic. It's all the fault of leaders who think they know best what is good for people.

Nov 3, 2010 at 7:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Lord Granchester:

"I thank Leonie Greene of the Renewable Energy Association and Oliver Harwood of the Country Land & Business Association for their assistance in preparing for the debate today."

Well, at least the lobbying is open.

Nov 3, 2010 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

I'm not particularly familiar with with debates in either the upper or lower chamber. Is the phrase "This house takes note..." some parliamentary device or is the title of the debate really intended to convey nothing?

"That this House takes note of the future of energy policy in the light of the climate change challenge."

It means nothing. Is it intended to reach any sort of conclusion on the matter? If so what - that the House of Lords has "noted" that we have a policy?

Nov 3, 2010 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered Commentertimheyes

Philip: "It's all the fault of leaders who think they know best what is good for people."

I disagree; more fault lies with those who elect said leaders. Plus an acceptance of the idea that government *must* do something about <crisis-of-the-day>. There are so *many* crises, action on each of which has the inevitable result of increasing the scope of government in a ratcheting manner.

Nov 3, 2010 at 9:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

I appreciate the changes in the US congress.

However, I would still think that those powerful networks, that had to step forward and become visible to the public after climategate as they had to protect their agenda and their political existence, would be investigated by homeland security in the US and the Scotland Yard in the UK in the first place,

Nov 4, 2010 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterManfred

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