Government Whitewashing Lord Deben’s £600,000 Green Scandal

Lord Deben’s scandalous £600,000 conflicts of interests over vast payments funnelled to his firm, Sancroft International, from ‘Green’ corporations continues to be swept under the rug. Conor Burns submitted a written question earlier this week over Deben’s conflicts of interests, receiving a vapid response back from Energy Minister Claire Perry:

“The Chair of the Committee on Climate Change declared his interests with Sancroft International as part of his appointment process in 2012.

“We have received assurances from the Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change on their processes for managing potential conflicts of interests. These include a clear policy on conflicts of interests, publication of members’ interests, and actively inviting information on actual or perceived conflicts as the first agenda item at each Committee meeting.”

Perry has not done her homework – what Deben actually told MPs during his Pre-Appointment Hearing in 2012 was that:

“almost everything that it does has no connection with the Committee on Climate Change, but there was one thing that I felt we ought to disengage from, and I said that.”

Self-evidently Deben was not telling the whole truth given that £600,000 has now found its way to his company from big green businesses that Deben uses his powerful position as Climate Change Committee Chair to persistently lobby for handouts of vast sums of taxpayers’ cash to.

Cursory research reveals that Deben appears to have failed to declare his Sancroft interest more than 15 times in the House of Lords. Guido hears that Tory whips have been discouraging MPs from making a fuss about it, despite the fact that the Commissioner for Standards in the House of Lords has opened a formal inquiry into Deben’s behaviour. Why is the Government trying to cover up for him?

Climate Change Committee Chair Took £600,000 From Green Groups For His Private Business

Yesterday the Mail on Sunday sensationally revealed that ‘green’ businesses have funnelled more than £600,000 into Sancroft International, the private company of Climate Change Committee chair and Conservative peer John Selwyn Gummer, now Lord Deben. His powerful committee consistently argues that billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money should be handed out to big green businesses to help them develop green tech. It just so happens some of that money found its way back to him…

  • Windfarm and solar investor Temporis Capital paid Gummer’s company £50,000 in the last five years.
  • Electric car battery producer Johnson Matthey handed Gummer’s firm nearly £300,000 over five years, after which he personally urged the Government to speed up plans to make all new cars on Britain’s roads battery-powered;
  • Energy producer Drax, which gets £700 million a year in Government subsidies, paid Sancroft £15,500 while the Climate Change Committee was writing a report on its activities.

Gummer has never declared these payments made to his company, but insists that he has been fully compliant with disclosure rules.

Despite the scale of the scandal, numerous news organisations including the BBC have entirely failed to cover it so far. Guido hears that the usual cabal of eco-journalists at are steering clear of this story for fear of consequences from the well-connected Gummer….

Climate Change Committee Chairman Guilty of Misleading Public

Lord Deben, the Chairman of the influential Committee on Climate Change, has been found guilty by the BBC Executive Complaints Unit of misleading listeners of the Today Programme. The former Environment Secretary claimed that the government were preventing communities that want to build onshore wind farms from doing so:

“What on earth is the government doing, saying that even where a community wants to have an onshore wind farm, it can’t have it. This is sheer dogma.”

But the BBC Executive Complaints Unit found that the opposite is true: the Government has in fact devolved the decision to approve onshore wind turbines to local councils.

The BBC acknowledged that “Lord Deben was presented as someone with a significant degree of expertise and knowledge in this area” and accepted that “he should have been challenged on this point to ensure listeners were not left with a materially misleading impression.”

One consequence of the BBC’s decision not to invite sceptics on to its programmes any more is that guff from Gummer et al is more likely to go unchallenged…

Lord Deben’s Climate Alarmism

Lord Deben, the Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, took to Radio 4 this morning to warn listeners that climate change will displace 170 million people from Bangladesh. Unless we reintroduce subsidies for onshore windmills…

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“Bangladesh will be practically be unable to be lived in if we do not halt the march of climate change and we’ll have 170 million displaced people wandering around the world looking for somewhere to live.”

There’s just one problem with the good Lord’s presumption that rising water levels will swamp Bangladesh: nowadays even the climate change true believers don’t think Bangladesh will drowneven in their worst case scenarios.

HT: BishopHill

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