Revealed: Government climate experts ‘groomed’ by US

By Liz Stephens

The committee on climate change (CCC), led by Lord Turner, is coming under pressure from the US to tow their line on climate change, it has been alleged.

The allegations were made to politics.co.uk from a source within Westminster.

The CCC, which was set up as an independent body following the Climate Change Act 2008, advises the government on carbon budgets, which set the ceiling on the levels of greenhouse gases that can be emitted into the atmosphere by the UK.

They released an influential report last year, ‘Building a Low-Carbon Economy’, which has formed the basis of the government’s climate change strategy.

However, the Westminster source alleged the governments’ advisors are “being groomed” by the US to tow a softer line on carbon emission targets.

In a statement to politics.co.uk a spokesperson for the CCC said: “The CCC is an independent body. It has not come under any pressure to soften or tow the line in order to keep the USA happy.”

With the government preparing for the Copenhagen summit in December, leading environmentalists are highly critical of Gordon Brown’s ‘Road to Copenhagen’ manifesto – saying it does not go far enough to save the planet.

One leading climate change activist, Aubrey Meyer, author of the theory of Contraction and Convergence(C&C), says the government is ignoring the true figures.

In an exclusive comment piece for politics.co.uk today, Meyer says: “The government is quite incorrect to claim that a global contraction in emissions of 50 per cent by 2050 is sufficient to prevent a globally averaged temperature rise of more than two degrees Celsius.”

Mr Meyer submitted evidence to the environmental audit committee and provided figures showing the Met Office’s own Hadley Centre predicted that an 80 per cent cut in global emissions (coupled to the carbon cycle) was needed by 2050.

In evidence seen by politics.co.uk, Met Office scientists, advising the environmental audit committee (EAC) on June 23rd, appear to discount their own figures.

One of the scientists had previously advised the CCC on their ‘Building a Low Carbon Economy’ report, although the CCC has told politics.co.uk that he was not representing them in any capacity at the EAC.

The UK is the only country in the world that has introduced a long-term legally binding framework to tackle the dangers of climate change, through the Climate Change Act 2008.