DECC RIP

decc

So farewell, then, the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It’s merging with BIS into the new Greg Clark-led Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Hopefully that streamlining brings greater efficiency. Here are some of their greatest hits:

  • Paying £600 to promote just one job advert on LinkedIn – which nobody clicked on.
  • Running a photo contest about what climate change might impact in the average Brit’s “day-to-day life” – and choosing a photo of a dead zebra as the winner.
  • Shelling out £1.3 million in bonuses – including nearly £300,000 to already well paid top civil servants.
  • Spending £500 per day on printing – despite having run a “Think Before you Print” Campaign.

Take your hot air with you…

DECC: Please Think Before You Print

paper printing

The Department for Energy and Climate Change has come a long way since the 2009 “Think Before you Print” campaign. Their own accounts reveal the department spent £14,516 on printing and binding alone in February – £500 per day. According to a DECC spokesperson, the heightened cost was due to the Oil and Gas Authority scanning their “licencing documents to ensure they had copies as part of their office move last month.” They could buy 37 iPads with one month’s printing expenditure…

Amber Rudd’s £1.3 Million Bonus Bill

DECC logo bonus bung

You’d think after a year of subsidy slicing, the Department for Energy and Climate Change would run a very tight ship. Not so…

New figures show Amber Rudd’s department blew a total of £1,299,729 on “Non-consolidated performance related payments”, aka bonuses, in 2014-15. A whopping £284,586 was earmarked for just 108 “Senior Civil Servants”, meaning these departmental mandarins hooked themselves a median average of £9,800, with some payouts going as high as an austerity-busting £14,700. This is despite an average salary of £109,490 per year. The average private sector bonus for UK workers last year was just £1,500…

Amber Warning: Rudd’s Russia Dud

Osborne ally Amber Rudd is increasingly used as a telly spokesman on energy and Europe – she should know her stuff since her brother is Remain spinmeister Roland. Though speaking to Justin Webb on the Today Programme, Amber did Remain no favours:

JW: “Why is Vladimir Putin still a problem for us if we leave the EU?”

AR: “Because Russia exports a lot of gas to the rest of Europe, we access our gas through Europe and by 2030-“

JW: “Through Norway, most of it”

AR: “Yes, well Norway is in Europe…”

JW: “But it’s outside the European Union”

AR: “But inside the internal energy market…”

The UK is 49.5% sufficient in natural gas with Norway supplying 55% of imported gas. Russia of course provides a nominal proportion of UK energy…

Rudd went on to claim Brexit would cause a “massive electric shock” and then weaponised the spectre of Fukushima:

“The thing about the gas market is you don’t know what shocks and what changes there can be to it. In Japan, after the Fukushima incident the LNG market for gas went through the roof, because all had to go to Japan. You don’t know what shocks there are…”

Remain weaponises a second human tragedy in as many days…

Mystery of ‘£5 Million’ Taxpayer-Funded Website That Ran For 3 Months

How much would you pay for this website about why we should all “back climate action”? £4,000? £40,000? Well, according to a data dump from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, ministers blew a staggering £4.9 million of taxpayer’s money on the beta site, which only ran for three months. Surely some mistake?

Curiously, a DECC source is at pains to tell Guido that the department’s own numbers are wrong. For some reason they won’t give an actual figure, though they say the real cost will be a fraction of what they declared. It can’t just be a simple typo though, because the data also states that DECC originally wanted to earmark £9.1 million for the site to “promote the government’s climate change narrative”. It would be a bad enough mistake to get the £4.9 million figure wrong, how did they come to the £9.1 million one as well?

UPDATE: DECC now say the actual figures are £9,116 and £4,900. “Extra 0’s added due to admin error.”

Rudd’s Solar Subsidy Slashing Plans Under Threat

amber rudd axe

Amber Rudd has hinted that she may be forced to back-peddle on her excellent plan to slash solar subsidies, telling the Commons today that it was “too early to say what the outcome of the consultation will be” and that she was “determined to identify the right level of solar subsidies to continue growth”. Rudd’s carefully worded caveats were made as she took oral questions for the first time since DECC announced it was consulting on plans to cut solar subsidies by 87%.

Rudd and Minister of State Andrea Leadsom are coming under sustained pressure over their subsidy plans. They faced kickback from all sides of the chamber today, while yesterday they received criticism from Boris.  Stick in there Amber…

Corbyn Climate Change Secretary’s “Ambiguous” Voting Record

Newly appointed Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Lisa Nandy is an interesting choice for the post: she appears to have a very limited interest in climate change. According to Public Whip, Nandy has “voted ambigiously” on stopping climate change. She even voted against:

“Establishing the UK Green Investment Bank which invests in projects which further the “green purposes” set out in the Bill, which include the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; the advancement of efficiency in the use of natural resources; the protection or enhancement of the natural environment; the protection or enhancement of biodiversity; and the promotion of environmental sustainability.”

Gaia has been browsing through Hansard and it seems Nandy has asked just three oral or written questions related to climate change. Ever.

So what was it that qualified her for the role? As Guido revealed in the Sun on Sunday, Nandy is being tapped up by Corbynistas as the left wing choice to be the next Labour leader once Corbyn stands down. Promoting her to the Shadow Cabinet is the first step along the way…

Corbyn himself is more interested in reopening the pits than global CO2 emissions. He had a long list of climate change radicals he could could have picked for the role, yet chose a darling of the left. Is he paying more attention to his climate change denying brother Piers than he lets on?

Rudd Gets It

rudd heart

Gaia has been reading through the speech Amber Rudd is making at today’s Aviva climate change conference and has fallen head over heels for the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary.

She starts off by paying due lip service to the we-really-ought-to-do-something-about-climate-change brigade:

“We are committed to taking action on climate change and we are clear that our long-term economic plan goes hand in hand with a long-term plan for climate action. Climate action is about security, plain and simple – economic security. If we don’t act, it will become increasingly hard to maintain our prosperity, protect our people and conserve our countryside.”

Then she correctly identifies what is really driving the climate change activists:

“It cannot be left to one part of the political spectrum to dictate the solution and some of the loudest voices have approached climate action from a left wing perspective. So I can understand the suspicion of those who see climate action as some sort of cover for anti-growth, anti-capitalist, proto-socialism.”

And finishes with a sound quote from Maggie:

“But in her 2002 book ‘Statecraft’, Margaret Thatcher was also sensible enough to ask the question “can global warming be checked at an acceptable price?”

If there really is a genuine threat from global warming the solution can and has to be, as Rudd correctly says, practical. The bottom line is we have to make sure that climate change action is pro-growth, pro-business, using free enterprise and competition to drive down the costs of climate action. That is still an “if”… 

Gaia ❤️‍ Amber….

Wind Industry Threaten To Sue Government For Cutting Subsidies

wind_farm_green_subsidy

Faced with impending cuts to their budget, the wind power industry is threatening to take legal action against the government. While there has been no confirmation, it is expected that new secretary of state Amber Rudd  will shortly be announcing cuts to the subsidies that prop up wind farms with tax-payers cash.[…] Read the rest

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DECC Ready To Frack

frack to business amber rudd

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is beefing up its Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil to push ahead with a revitalised fracking agenda. Free from the shackles of Ed Davey, the OUGO are already advertising for three Senior Policy Advisors to help put the framework in place to support the shale gas industry – something that is high on new chief Amber Rudd’s agenda. […] Read the rest

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Amber Warning

amberrudd575

Amber Rudd, the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change believes limiting global warming to under 2°C  is “one of the most important things we’re ever going to do,” but also believes fracking is part of the solution.[…] Read the rest

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Government Shells Out for Photo of Dead Zebra

fead zebra

The deadline has passed for the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s climate change themed picathon. After an exhausting effort, the guys responsible for securing affordable energy supplies have come up with a winner. A dead zebra…

Apparently the picture of the deceased stripy horse illustrates how regular people “think climate change might impact the things” they “care most about in” their “day-to-day life”. […] Read the rest

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Ipsos MORI: No One Cares About DECC Climate Change Campaign

hashtagfail

The Department of Energy & Climate Change are probably wishing they hadn’t commissioned a “Social Listening Evaluation” in an attempt to justify a “Tweetathon” they held last year. The 45 page report published today comes to a shocking conclusion. No one was really bothered.[…] Read the rest

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GREEN WASTE: Gov Sponsored Climate Change Picathon

turbine fire

Instead of securing affordable energy supplies for Britain, pen-pushers at the Department of Energy and Climate Change have taken time out from their busy schedule to launch a climate change themed photography competition. Launching tomorrow, it aims to bring together pictures that illustrate how climate change will impact the things people care about most in day to day life.[…] Read the rest

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No Hands On DECC

Decc

The Department of Energy & Climate Change paid £600 to promote just one job on the business social network LinkedIn. Despite the advert being seen by 4,162 people, the number of people who clicked on it was precisely zero.

According to an FoI request, the cash was shelled out to the recruitment agency Penna who “promoted” the vacancy on LinkedIn for them.[…] Read the rest

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DECC's Green Deal Flops as Only 36 Sign Up

The Green Deal is a giant white elephant. Figures snuck out at the end of term show, as of the end of last month, of the 306 Green Deal plans for making properties energy efficient, 270 are “new” plans, where someone has simply asked for a quote.[…] Read the rest

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