Committee on Climate Change Misleads Parliament and Public

The Committee on Climate Change has released a new brochure, Reducing UK emissions, described as a “2018 Progress Report to Parliament”.

It’s a long document – 267 pages – but it has four messages to the Government at the front, one of which is this graphic:

Yes, they really are claiming that adding more wind turbines is simple, low cost, and an alternative to gas. The graphic says “see p68”, and if you look ahead to page 68 you will see that this is not confirmed at all. The figure shown there gives an estimate for wind costs in the mid 2020s, and even that estimate is not, as claimed, 25% cheaper than gas, until an additional “carbon cost” (not explained anywhere in the document) is slapped on top of the gas.

But of course the main reason why this is a thoroughly dishonest claim by Lord Deben and his team is that comparing wind and gas capacity is a misleading, false comparison. Wind power is highly intermittent, requiring backup from other sources to provide power when the wind isn’t blowing. Everyone knows this, but the charlatans who wrote this report have swept it under the carpet. Throughout the entire report, there is virtually no mention of this crucial point.

Here, courtesy of Gridwatch, is an illustration of how effective wind power has been over the last week. You may not be able to make out the line for wind power. It’s the blue one, that frequently disappears from view as it merges with the zero line:

We have, apparently, about 19 GW of wind power capacity, but the actual output recently has been around 1 – 2 GW. So building new wind and solar power is not simple and low-cost, as they claim. The choice is not, as falsely implied by the CCC, between building wind or gas, it is between building wind + gas or gas.  The statement at the bottom of their picture, that failing to pursue these options increases energy bills, is straight out of the Ministry of Truth: it is precisely because we have been following these options that our electricity costs have been rising.



  1. How annoying, tgat the very people entrusted with advancing energy policy rely on deceiving those trustthem.
    When will someone with “high profile” have the guts and bravery to confront the deception that the “climate concerned” are carrying out?
    The dam is ready to break against the contrived reality of the “climate consensus”.
    The first member of the mainstream to do this will go far.


  2. This is a report to parliament. There may be one or two parliamentarians (for instance Graham Stringer, Labour MP for England’s poorest constituency, and Viscount Ridley, coal mine rentier and noted science writer) who might consider telling fibs to parliament a serious matter.

    The authors, apart from Lord “dirty” Deben (see ) are:

    Baroness Brown of Cambridge and the Royal Society, an engineer, currently serving as non- executive director of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult;

    Nick Chater, Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School, with a particular interest in the cognitive and social foundations of rationality;

    Dr Rebecca Heaton, Head of Sustainability and Policy at Drax Group, responsible for the sustainability of the global forest supply chains used to produce biomass for its power station; [and therefore the brains behind the destruction of the forests of the east coast of the USA in order to provide 10% of Britain’s electricity;]

    Paul Johnson, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a visiting professor at University College London and an expert in the design of tax systems.

    These people have their reputations to think of. The discovery of inaccuracies in this report would reflect badly on them. We expect our regular readers to be especially vigilant in their criticisms; otherwise Cliscep will be instituting a new régime (the Venezualan option.) All regular readers will be assigned a number of pages of the report to analyse, on pain of banishment. On your marks…


  3. Britain’s justification for the Climate Change Act 2008 was it would lead the world on Climate Change. Given that Britain has not the power to compel others to follow, it needs to lead by example. Producing such blatant climate propoganda is not going to persuade anyone.
    Just to be clear about the costs of renewables. A direct comparison of costs per unit of electricity of wind to gas is not a true one. It is the cost of renewables + the backup against the cost of gas. If the backup is gas, then the unit costs of gas will be higher than gas alone. That is becuase the presence of wind power will reduce the capacity utilization of the gas-fired power station. The fixed costs are the same, so are apportioned over less output. Add nuclear power to provide baseload, and the capacity is squeezed even more.
    Also, the grid costs are much higher for wind power. Wind turbines are in dispersed and remote locations, whereas a gas-fired power station can be built near the centres of population.


  4. I forgot Sir Brian Hoskins, Professor of Meteorology at the University of Reading, Chair of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London and a member of the national scientific academies of the UK, USA, and China.

    You can see him holding forth on What the Future Holds in 2009 at

    Two years after the talk became available on Youtube the first commenter asked them to turn up the volume, and two years later the second and last commenter said:

    “Funny to see these old failed predictions back. They look so silly now.”


  5. I heard Deben being interviewed on Radio 4 this morning by John Humphries. Deben told a pack of lies from start to end and Humphries had no clue what questions to pose. At one point (talking about how to prosecute the Government for not obeying the Climate Change Act), Deben said the answer was above his pay grade. I immediately thought that flipping burgers (remember him as John Gummer) was way above his paygrade.

    To think Deben advises the Government; no wonder the country is in a mess.


  6. I also forgot Professor Corinne Le Quéré of the Royal Society, the University of East Anglia and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, and Jim Skea, Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College, awarded a CBE for services to sustainable energy in 2013 and an OBE for services to sustainable transport in 2004.

    As an example of the kind of weirdness to be expected in the 270 odd pages to come, see the graph in the executive summary at page 11. There are no units on the y axis, but if you make the reasonable assumption that the baseline is zero, you would interpret the drooping line marked “emissions from power have fallen fast” as meaning that power emissions have fallen by more than half, which is archi-false. Next to the meaningless graph is a meaningless pie chart labelled “75% of reductions since 2012 have come from the power sector.” (So is that three grams of carbon out of a total of four, or watt?) Three quarters of the pie are occupied by a wind turbine, while in the other quarter skulk a factory, two houses, six trees (three conifers and three deciduous) a tractor, a car, a dumper truck and a cloud marked F-gas (Lord Deben being cool using rude words again?)

    Commenters please note that you can quote any part of the report except the Royal Coat of Arms. (It’s on the bottle of HP sauce but can’t be displayed at a sceptic site.)

    I skipped to page 227 to learn more about F-gases:

    Fluorinated gases (F-gases) accounted for around 3% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2016…
    Our key messages for the F-gas sector are:
    • F-gas emissions fell by 4% in 2016, which is short of the 6% fall in emissions indicated in our existing cost-effective path to meeting carbon budgets and long-term targets.
    • There is cost-effective potential to reduce F-gas emissions further and faster than the pace of the existing EU F-gas Regulation. Last year, we recommended that the Government should review cost-effective opportunities to exceed regulatory minimums on F-gas abatement. Since then, we have commissioned a study which shows there is cost-effective potential to go beyond the ambition of the F-gas Regulation.

    You got that? Dirty Deben was hoping of a reduction of F-gases from 4% to 3.76%, and is wagging his hamburger at us because we’ve only achieved 3.88%. Naughty naughty us. Several members of the Royal Society are very disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. To put Britain’s attempts to switch to renewables in perspective, this comment from the UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2017.

    Today, there are an estimated 6,683 operating coal-fired power plants in the world, with a combined installed capacity of 1,964 GW. If these plants were operated until the end of their lifetime and not retrofitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS), the stock of operating power plants would emit an accumulated amount of around 190 GtCO2.
    Without additional policy interventions, the number of coalfired power plants will continue to increase. As of early 2017, across the globe there were additional 273 GW of coalfired capacity in construction and 570 GW at the planning stage. Ten countries make up approximately 85 percent of the entire coal pipeline, with 700 GW being built or planned in China, India, Turkey, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Republic of Korea alone.

    Globally, emissions from electricity generation are set to increase. There is no way in the next 40 years that these coal-fired power stations are going to be shut down, nor fossil-fuel powered cars and lorries eliminated, nor jets replaced with solar and pedal power in the skies, nor the mega ships adopting sails. Yet this is implied when the policy-makers try to close the emission gaps. Below is the key graphic from that report, showing the difference between the policy waffle and desired outcome.

    In the meantime energy bills are rising, and energy poverty is increasing.


  8. As Geoff said, “As an example of the kind of weirdness to be expected in the 270 odd pages to come, see the graph in the executive summary at page 11.”

    Geoff was wondering about the scale. Below is a graph from the World Resources Institute CAIT Database of UK GHG emissions in GtCO2e. From 1990 to 2014 emissions decreased from .738 to .506 GtCO2e or 41.4%. Note that half of the decrease occurred up to 2008, before any policy real policy impact. Much of that was due to de-industrialization.

    According to IPCC AR5, global emissions increased from 38 to 49 GtCO2e between 1990 and 2010. The Emissions Gap Report estimates that even with policy global emissions will be 55 GtCO2e in 2030.
    Although costs of energy have gone up, it is less costly to reduce emissions in power generation than in say transport. In emissions reductions, the law of diminishing returns is strongly applicable. If the Government is serious about reducing emissions it will need to impose significantly greater economic hardship on the British people, for absolutely no gain whatsoever.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ron,
    I like the graphic from Bill Gates on the energy transition from the use of biomass to fossil fuels – first coal, then oil and later natural gas.
    I commented about Ironbridge in Shropshire. It was there in 1688 that Abram Darby first smelted iron using coke. There was a coal-fired power station at Ironbridge. In 2014 it tried converting to using biomass for the subsidies. Somewhat ironic don’t you think?


  10. ‘But insulation rates in homes are 95% lower than they were in 2012’.

    Misinformation verging on outright gibberish.

    But never mind that. Here’s Gummer on Radio 4 in 2004:

    I don’t think it helps to convince people if you are apocalyptic about things but I do believe that we are in a very special position. We know that if we do not change our habits the climate of this world will first of all become increasingly inconvenient for everyone, it will become absolutely impossible for the islands which sink beneath the sea, and then ultimately it could mean that this very fragile planet will die. I have no doubt that we could kill our own planet.


    Eschatonanism doesn’t help so here’s some doomwankery.


  11. The “fragile planet” dogma does not hold up to any sort of reasonable scrutiny.
    The assertion that human caused climate change will somehow kill all life on Earth is flat out delusional….or a deliberate untruth.


  12. Vinny @ 11.21pm
    Gummer’s comment points to the very heart of the policy delusion. The “we” in Debden’s comments refers to all the people on this planet. Yet the policy is being applied to Britain, with less than 1% of the population. If saving the planet were necessary, then the reduction in emissions would need to be global to achieve this. The climate believers need to send out missionaries to preach in Turkey, India, Vietnam, Pakistan plus scores of other countries where the aspiration is to increase their emissions. Newly-elected President Ergodan, re-elected on an autocratic mandate to increase economic growth, might be a good place to start.


  13. Vinny, yes the insulation rates thing is daft. A few years back we were all bombarded with phone calls and junk mail telling us we could get our lofts insulated, so now all our lofts are insulated. Hence it’s no surprise that the “rate” is now much lower.


  14. I think what we have with the decarbonisation/sustainable energy agenda is a huge, heaving mass of lies and corruption so immense, so deep, so penetrating, that it’s hard to attack it from any specific angle. It has become a self-sustaining, swamp-dwelling monster. I’m reminded of the way that literally millions of fish shoal together, or birds flock together in order to evade and confuse aerial and marine predators. Exactly the same principle applies. The Parliamentary Act which gives impetus to and which sustains all this corruption simply must be repealed. Only then will we be able to start dismantling the huge bloated corpus which it has generated in its putrescent wake, which is sucking the life out of industry and enterprise in this country and bleeding dry citizens in order to feed grasping greens sat atop the dung heap milking public subsidies until the cows come home.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Not just ‘liked’ by me, think it’s almost Shakespearean, ‘ripeness is all,’ in its weighty
    sum up, (alas)… ‘ a huge waving mass of lies and corruption so immense, so deep,
    so penetrating, that it’s hard to attack from any specific angle.’

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Rather than getting sucked into a discussion about lots of pretty graphs, many of which appear to include data-free projections, I’d rather ask the following:

    Exactly what role on the CCC is being played by a professor of behavioural science who specialises in the ‘social foundations of rationality’? What, for example, are the ‘behavioural insights’ into ‘public policy and business’ that Professor Nick Chater has to offer and how are they reflected in this publication?

    To get a handle on this, I dug out a paper Nick Chater co-wrote with George Loewenstein of the Carnegie Mellon Institute, titled, ‘Putting Nudges into Perspective’. The paper has a section on climate change, which includes a reference to his membership on the CCC. I think the significant extracts are as follows:

    Firstly, there can be no doubt where Nick Chater stands on the subject of climate science uncertainty:

    “Most people care profoundly about their children, and even their children’s children; why are we, as individual citizens, so passive in the face of a problem that poses such a grave threat to current and future generations?”

    Next, we have his pet theory as to why some people can’t see it his way:

    “Research on information avoidance shows how people selectively attend to, interpret and remember information in a fashion that reinforces their existing beliefs, a tendency that may go far in explaining the prevalence of climate change denial.”

    You will note in the above, the casual use of the term ‘denial’. The language of the gutter propagandist falls so trippingly from the lips of the supposedly well-educated. Presumably, this is what he means by the ‘social foundations of rationality’. There is also clear evidence here of Bias Blind Spot, since he appears to see no way in which ‘information avoidance’ could possibly lead to climate alarmism. And then, good, old-fashioned social coercion rears its ugly head:

    “Some behavioural economists have proposed nudges such as giving people information about their neighbours’ energy usage as tools for reducing energy consumption (Schultz et al., 2007). Indeed, one company, O-Power, has emerged to help utilities to do just that.”

    Whilst he can see the merits in such tactics, he doesn’t see them as the sole solution to the problem:

    “It is, perhaps, conceivable that energy-intensive behaviours could be targeted as socially unacceptable, using a combination of behavioural campaigns and measures (e.g. naming and shaming of people consuming large amounts of energy). But a purely behavioural approach powerful enough to have any chance of large-scale success would be politically explosive.”

    Instead, he concedes:

    “To have a serious impact on the problem of climate change, there is no way to escape the necessity for stronger policies that either change prices…or involve regulation…”

    Society will not take this lying down, therefore:

    “A key role of behavioural science will be to propose ways of explaining and implementing such policies in order to make them both maximally effective…and politically feasible.”

    So there you have it. His job is to make the politicians better at lying. But, somehow I knew that.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. The Plato ‘noble’ necessary lie to arrest change – in modern setting…

    Since naming and shaming isn’t politically expedient …”A key role of
    behavioural science will be to propose ways of explaining and implementing
    such policies in order to make them both maximally effective…and politically

    And reminiscent of Stephen Schneider’s ‘”double ethical bind -each of us has
    to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Re The Parliamentary Act which gives impetus to and which sustains all this corruption simply must be repealed. – JJ

    It doesn’t have to be repealed, it just needs the target reducing to zero. But this can only be done on the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee, led by…Lord Deben.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. John Ridgway.
    I think you misinterpret the role of Nick Carter. From my interpretation of your quotes there are two very important roles.
    The first is to promote behavioral awareness among the general population, so that when their bills go up, when they have to conserve every unit of electricity to avoid starving the kids, or they have to holiday in a leaky caravan in Skegness rather than jet off to a Greek island, or spend their evenings sorting waste instead of spending quality time with the kids – they will be repeating the mantra that they are saving the planet for future generations.
    The second reason is to promote discrimination, so that alternative perspectives will be treated with prejudice. Much the same as in the mid-eighteenth century the fact that a person did not attend the Church of England on a regular basis was a reason to deny job opportunities. By then, many who did not attend the CofE was due to attending the non-conformists churches. The CofE had incompetent priests, many of whom had a purchased position and a comfortable Rectory. The non-conformists had a better understanding of the Christian faith, but the Anglicans had the established Church, and the anointed Monarch as head. Dissenters had the choice of either aligning themselves with the true biblical message, or deferring to the upper classes whom they owed a livelihood. Similarly, the likes of Nick Carter are there to give a clear message. Either conform and advance you career, or dissent and have your career trashed. If you have true belief in “making the world a better place” and “serving the community” along with being grounded in the real world, there will only be frustration. The optimal way is to conform and achieving much less net positive outcomes. But people with integrity and a clear vision will not usually give up. Those who will get along are those who seek status. That is in the praise of others from pronouncing the empty mainstream message. From members of the CCC there is also the opportunity to make a bit of dosh on the side whilst promoting their beliefs. Much as the orange US tele-evangelists of the 1980s, with waxed hair and smart suits.


  20. I would like to know what they do with food waste. My local council says it can be burnt to generate electricity. How exactly? Most food is high in water content, and will not burn. Of course you could heat it and drive off the water. Ah, I get it now. You use 2kWh of energy to dry it out, and it can then generate 1kWh of electricity when burnt. Silly me.


  21. I had no idea the Committee was stuffed with people utterly lacking objectivity regarding the subject on which they are tasked with advising the Government. Shame on me (but shame on them too). It’s just about as bad when it comes to the membership of the Adaptation Sub-Committee:


  22. According to their website, the Committee on Climate Change “is fully committed to openness and transparency” and ” is committed to working in an open and transparent way.”

    One wonders therefore, why (for example) the short biopic they put of Lord Deben contains this (and only this):

    “Lord Deben was the UK’s longest-serving Secretary of State for the Environment (1993 to 1997), and has held several other high-level ministerial posts, including Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1989 to 1993).

    He has consistently championed the strong links between environmental concerns and business interests
    He also runs Sancroft, a corporate responsibility consultancy working with blue-chip companies around the world on environmental, social and ethical issues
    He is Chairman of Valpak Limited
    He is Chairman of The Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association”

    No mention there of the fact that (as you can, admittedly discover, if you dig deeper into the disclosure of interests section of the website) he is a non-executive director of Veolia (who say this on their website):

    “We’re innovators committed to focusing on carbon reduction by preventing pollution, preserving natural resources, protecting biodiversity, combating climate change and raising environmental awareness.

    Our new strategy is focused on manufacturing green products and energy, helping our customers and suppliers reduce their carbon impact by investing more than £1 billion on new infrastructure between 2012 – 2018.”

    Look at the case studies Veolia offer up proudly on their website and you see them making money from the UK taxpayer in a number of contracts, such as with:

    Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority
    East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
    Croydon University Hospital
    Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
    Wyre Council
    Neath Port Talbot Hospital
    Lister Hospital
    New Cross Hospital and
    King’s College Hopsital

    No conflict of interest there, then, Lord Deben.

    I repeat that the information is there on the CCC website if you go looking for it, but why not simply mention it in the biopic? One would assume that if the biopic mentioned a number of his interests, it would mention them all; after all, why be selective in what you include in the biopic?

    I think it’s a bit like the BBC habit of using sensationalist tabloid-type headlines on their website. The headlines are often misleading, but if you read deep into the story, you’ll find the nugget of truth that enables them to say they’ve reported fully.

    The CCC is fully taxpayer-funded, and has immense power to cause huge damage to the UK economy. It’s wrong that it behaves like this, IMO anyway.


  23. Another biopic on the CCC website:

    “Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE FREng FRS
    Deputy chair
    Baroness Brown is an engineer, a crossbench member of the House of Lords, a Fellow of the Royal Society and Deputy Chair of the Committee on Climate Change.

    She also holds the following positions:

    Chair of the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials
    Non-Executive Director of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
    Chair of STEM Learning Ltd
    Her previous roles include:

    Non-Executive Director of the Green Investment Bank
    senior engineering and manufacturing positions at Rolls-Royce plc
    academic positions at Cambridge University and Imperial College
    Vice Chancellor at Aston University”

    No mention of the fact that (as you can find out if you dig further on the CCC website) she is Chair of the Carbon Trust. Again, why mention selectively some of her roles but not others, such as this?

    As they happily mention on their website, the Carbon Trust has made money from offering policy advice to the Scottish Government (as well as other contracts with the Scottish Government) and to the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (more than once). It has worked for the British Embassy in Brasilia and for Oxfordshire County Council, as well as Ceredigion County Council. Leeds City Region (a partnership of local authorities) “has made several successful bids for government funded economic development projects” and has also worked with (and presumably paid) the Carbon Trust. Also Oxford City Council and Lake District National Park. Also the UK Department for International Development; Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service; Torfaen County Borough Council; Tunbridge Wells Borough Council; Colchester Borough Council; Bristol City Council; South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; North Warwickshire & Hinckley College; Scottish National Portrait Gallery; DECC (more than once); Solihull Council; Salford City Council; Gloucestershire College; National Library of Scotland; Yorkshire Ambulance Service Trust; St Edward’s College; King’s College, London; and Guy & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

    So why not simply mention on her biopic that she is Chairman of this organisation that makes lots of money from the UK taxpayer by working on projects that possibly wouldn’t take place without the “advice” emanating from the likes of the CCC?


  24. Another CCC website biopic:

    “Professor Corinne Le Quéré FRS
    Corinne Le Quéré is Professor of Climate Change Science and Policy at the University of East Anglia (UEA), specialising in the interactions between climate change and the carbon cycle.

    She is also:

    Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
    a lead author of several assessment reports for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
    Director of the annual update of the global carbon budget by the Global Carbon Project (GCP)”

    But no mention that her Directorship of the Tyndall Centre brought with it a year long consultancy contract with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

    Similarly, no mention of her membership of “Fondation BNP Paribas Climate Initiative Programme advisory committee” as she calls it in her declaration of interests. Why not mention it? It wouldn’t have added much to a short biopic.


  25. Here’s CCC-member Prof Sir Brian Hoskins reacting, in 2011, to new research by Prof Harper Collins showing that Greenland had lost ~15% of its ice cover in ~10 years:

    Scientists like me will talk about this sort of gradual melting of the ice sheet but then you take a snapshot every now and then and you suddenly see that a bit of Greenland has gone green then that makes you realise, yes, something is happening in the frozen north. It’s not quite as frozen as it used to be.

    From memory, the new HarperCollins-published Times Atlas had excluded all Greenland ice less than 500m thick and this was because of… things. (Perhaps excluding ‘thinner’ ice made the map look nicer. My notes say that Jethro Lennox made the map. He’ll know.) Claims that the new map proved there had been such a drastic loss of ice cover in such a short time shouldn’t have passed smell tests by people who knew what they were talking about (it didn’t pass mine and I didn’t) but here was Prof Sir Brian Hoskins popping up to tell ITN that the apparent sudden ice-loss should be a bit of a wake-up call.


  26. What would be good would be if someone could make a précis of the key points. I would love to give my mp some ammo to launch at deben and Co. But it needs to be concise and powerful


  27. man in a barrel,
    You hit nail on head.
    Until skeptics get effective fact driven responses to trash like this report into accesdible form and get those responses into the hands of decision makers and opinion influencers, things won’t change as fast as they could.


  28. Dumb And Gummer: Selwyn’s climate-change claptrap

    Stepping into the room at the launch of the Committee on Climate Change’s new Progress Report to Parliament was like walking into a parallel universe. This was the cult of anti-CO2, with its supreme panel of very expert experts ready to tell the adoring throng that the Government should be cutting emissions faster.

    The Committee on Climate Change, or CCC for short, is a quango which received its mandate from the 2008 Climate Change Act: to provide the Government with independent advice on meeting emissions reduction targets. The reality is that it’s far from independent, teeming as it is with green zealots who have strong links to the renewable energy industry.


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