“our party’s policy is that the Bill is necessary.”

Martina Purdy, blog-sitting for Mark Devenport, picks up on the Friends of the Earth criticism of Northern Ireland Environment Minister Sammy Wilson, MP, MLA, following last night’s debate, and vote, on the Climate Change Bill – in the Commons for its third and final reading. But I think Martina Purdy might have missed the significance of the full quote from DUP MP William McCrea.

“My hon. Friends and I accept that climate change is a serious environmental threat that we face, which requires action. We have to tackle carbon emissions, and it is therefore important that there is an appropriate Bill to do that. Although I have a very sceptical colleague sitting beside me, our party’s policy is that the Bill is necessary. However, I do not accept that we can say with authority that man is the sole contributor to the situation. There are those who have over-egged the case and in many ways destroyed the argument, and that has made many people in the community cynical. There are also those who have underestimated the case, and they have not helped the debate either. I believe that global warming is a reality. Scientists have a certain view of the issue; in this House we need to take a balanced view and try to deal with it in a balanced way.”

And then there’s the matter of the previously declared voting intentions of Mr Wilson..I’ve previously noted Sammy Wilson’s withdrawal of his support from the Climate Change Bill. That was subsequently followed by the Environment Minister telling the Assembly’s Environment Committee..

Mr Wilson added: “I will be voting against the Climate Change Bill. The reasoning behind the Climate Change Bill is this fixation that somehow, whether or if you reduce Co2 emissions, you will change the world’s climate and there’s absolutely no consensus that that is the case.

And did he? Vote against the Climate Change Bill?

Here are those who did vote against


Chope, Mr. Christopher
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew

Tellers for the Noes:
Miss Ann Widdecombe and
Philip Davies

Significantly, among those who voted in favour of the Bill..

Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
McCrea, Dr. William
Robinson, rh Mr. Peter
Simpson, David

And it’s not because Sammy Wilson wasn’t there.. From Hansard

Rob Marris: Does the hon. Gentleman accept that human activity is a significant contributory factor to the change that many scientists say the climate has been undergoing in the past 50 years?

Sammy Wilson: I think I have already made it clear that 46 per cent. of climate scientists believe that climate change is not solely down to the activity of man. That means, of course, that there are scientists who believe that it is. There is an array of environmentalists, scientists and economists who take a contrary view, however, and who believe that the impact of man is not significant. I want to make it clear that I happen to share that view. [added emphasis]

So, does the Northern Ireland Environment Minister, Sammy Wison, agree with his “party’s policy”, or not? Or should we just be sceptical of his grand-standing scepticism?

And that “array of environmentalists, scientists and economists”? That wouldn’t be the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition noted previously.. by any chance..?

  • Nomad

    So why won’t the minister for the environment stand up and be counted? Where is his leadership? Isn’t he able enough to form his own opinion to vote and represent this part of the United Kingdom??

    I’d like to hear him answer these questions. Perhaps someone at Stormont might even ask him?

  • Nomad

    Just reading through Hansard I see the wise gentleman also said:

    “My second point, then, is that there will be a huge increase in Government regulation and Government interference in the economy, with all the consequences that will follow, yet we know how successful state planning has been in the past.”

    This is a splendid point. We can see how well the most extreme free market policy worked for the global financial markets this year, can’t we. Oh….