David Davies MP Challenges UK Climate Policies

  • Date: 12/06/15
  • David Williamson, Wales Online

The Monmouth MP said it was ‘outrageous’ that manufacturers had to pay much more for electricity here than elsewhere in Europe

 

David Davies argues that some of the increase in global temperatures must be ‘due to the fact that the earth was naturally warming up anyway’

The world was leaving a little ice age when industrialisation kicked off, Monmouth MP David Davies has told MPs as he warned that against policies which force up energy costs for Welsh manufacturers.

The Conservative MP yesterday called on the Government to be “very cautious” in the upcoming negotiations on climate change in Paris and argued there is a “difference between healthy scepticism and denial” about global warming.

Mr Davies told MPs that the world was “warmer during the Roman period, cooler during the Dark Ages, and then warmer again during the medieval period.”

Ice fairs were held outside Parliament

He continued: “It then became much colder, and up until about 1800 we had what is called the little ice age when ice fairs were held outside Parliament on the Thames. It was at about that time that we started to industrialise.”

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Mr Davies argued it “absolutely must follow that some of the temperature increase that has taken place – about 0.8 degrees celsius – must be due to the fact that the earth was naturally warming up anyway”.

Mr Davies said anti-climate change policies were responsible for “massive increases in energy bills for home owners and businesses,” adding: “It is absolutely outrageous that steel companies and other manufacturers are finding it difficult to manufacture in this country because they are paying so much more for electricity than their competitors in the rest of Europe… We can therefore be absolutely certain that the more we rely on renewable energy, the more we will have to pay for it.”

‘Incontrovertible’ evidence

Cardiff South and Penarth Labour MP Stephen Doughty said the evidence for climate change was “incontrovertible” and said it was “extraordinary that there are still Conservative Members who deny the existence of climate change”.

He argued that the “medium and long-term costs to this country and many others, particularly developing countries, will be far greater than the costs of not dealing with the challenge of climate change now”.

However, he called on the UK Government to address the challenges facing local manufacturers, saying: “Celsa Steel in my constituency uses one of the most efficient steel-making processes in the European Union – it is in the top 10% – and has invested massively in a carbon-efficient steel workshop. However, it is competing against increasingly carbon-inefficient steels that are coming from, for instance, China and Turkey.”

Swansea’s ‘global game changer’

Swansea East Labour MP Carolyn Harris said the proposed tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay would be a “global game changer in renewable energy”.

Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Caroline Flint praised the word of Welsh MPs in pushing the project forward, adding: “The Welsh Assembly and, I should say, the former Member for Swansea East, Siân James, deserve massive credit, as do local councillors who have fought hard for it.”

Montgomeryshire Conservative MP Glyn Davies said there was “overwhelming opposition” to the “imposition of onshore wind on the scale proposed” and warned that governments “that do not listen to the people will find that they are not electable”.

A national security threat

Amber Rudd, the Conservative Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said the UK’s parties were united in determination to tackle climate change, stating: “We are pledged to work together to achieve a fair, legally binding global climate deal; to work together to agree domestic carbon targets; and to work together to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. We are united here in this United Kingdom, because climate change represents a threat to our national prosperity, our national security and our way of life.”

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