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Ministerial meetings

The government now publishes details of meetings between ministers and outside bodies. They are published separately on each department's website. I thought I'd take a look at the DECC one and see who has been bending Howlin' Mad Huhne's ear.

In essence it's simple: with very few exceptions, Huhne gets to meet only:

  • energy companies asking for subsidies
  • environmentalists.

I think this could explain a lot about government energy policy, don't you?

I found it particularly interesting that Huhne (and indeed his predecessor, Ed Miliband) seem to grant a regular monthly audience to groups of environmentalists.

  • In June, he entertained Friends of the Earth, Green Alliance, Greenpeace, RSPB, and WWF.
  • In July it was Cafod, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth, Green Alliance, Greenpeace, Oxfam, RSPB, Tearfund, and WWF.

The records have only been released up to July, but if we look back in time, we can see that under Miliband the same pattern was there (sources, 1, 2):

  • October: Green Alliance, E.ON, RWE Npower, Scottish Power, Scottish & Southern Energy, Greenpeace & European Climate Foundation
  • November: WWF, Greenpeace, ActionAid, Oxfam & Friends of the Earth
  • Again in November: Meeting with NGOs including RSPB, Christian Aid & WWF
  • Still in November: Oxfam, WWF, Greenpeace, RSPB, Tearfund, E3G, Christian Aid, Cafod, Friends of the Earth, Green Alliance
  • And yet another: PIRC & 10:10.
  • February: WWF, Greenpeace, Green Alliance, Cafod, RSPB, IPPR, E3G, Tearfund, Oxfam, TUC, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth.
  • March: TUC, Cafod, Oxfam, WWF, Christian Aid, Tearfund, RSPB, IPPR, E3G.
  • April - no record of any meetings, presumably because of the election

There is no sign of anyone who might give a different point of view getting through the door at DECC. This is rather remarkable. We know that the majority of the British public are unconvinced by the manmade global warming hypothesis and yet it appears that, whatever the stripe of the government, only groups with vested interests get through the front door at DECC. The views of the majority are not to be heard.

Is Mr Huhne dancing to the greens' tune?

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Reader Comments (58)

Maybe a few groups such as SPPI and NIPCC should request a meeting. Any refusal should be publicised.

Oct 29, 2010 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Great sleuthing, yer Grace. On the face of it, it looks as though as well as the high profile casualties such as WWF and Greenpeace, such previously well-regarded charities as Cafod and Tearfund have been hijacked by CAGW fanatics. Mass hysteria and very, very sad.

Oct 29, 2010 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Another thought just struck me. Is Huhne happy to meet with groups who advocate lawbreaking ie Greenpeace?

Oct 29, 2010 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterCraig

The October meeting, with a mixed panel of greens and energy companies is quite interesting isn't it?

Oct 29, 2010 at 1:04 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill


Just to pass on a little something for the weekend..
Delingpole has a visitor to his site who has done a surprisingly good set of graphics about the cost of the UK reducing CO2 by 80%.

Some wag has suggested using these as posters for school children....and suggesting passing the graphics to politicians, most of whom have a similar understanding of climate change as a 10 year old

Oct 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

'We know that the majority of the British public are unconvinced by the manmade global warming hypothesis'

sorry gracie boy but these are just sheep....they'll do as we tell 'em

Oct 29, 2010 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

All that travelling to meet him must cost a lot of money and have a high carbon footprint. Who is paying the cost?

Why isn't video conferencing good enough for the EcoFascists, when they advocate it for everyone else?

Oct 29, 2010 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Huhne was a student Labour activist, who went on to make pots of money, then joined the LibDems, got elected, and now is imposing Tory environmental policies on everyone.

Nick Clegg said this of Huhne in 2007 in the LibDem leadership election, "Huhne is indulging in the politics of innuendo, mounting false challenges and running a campaign that is handing political ammunition to the party's political opponents."

I would imagine that Huhne, Greenpeace, WWF, et al, all get on like a house on fire.

Oct 29, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Seeing WWF monthly is rather odd - surely they must run out of things to say?

Oct 29, 2010 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Edinburgh

Do we know that this is about taking advice? Isn’t it more about co-ordinating tactics? The government funds many of these organisations, (sometimes via the EU). In return, the organisations lobby the government, putting pressure on them to carry out the policies they want to anyway, thus providing a veneer of popular support. RentaMob used to be a fantasy of popular movements subsidised by Moscow gold. Now it’s been nationalised.
The idea of the government consulting the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds on key points of economic policy is enough to make you weep - or emigrate to China.

Oct 29, 2010 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Funny, I always thought that Heuhne was a barn-pot (amongst other things which would get snipped here), but looking at that photo I see that he thinks he is a tea-pot!

Oct 29, 2010 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

Does FOI entitle us to know the agenda and minutes of these meetings?

geoffchambers. Of course the RSPB are interested. Don't you know how many birds will drown if sea levels rise?

Oct 29, 2010 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

I don't think the meetings are FOIable.

Oct 29, 2010 at 1:58 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Recruitment fairs every month? Its all very well for the greenest government ever to create an explosion of green jobs, but this is 'unprecedented'.

Oct 29, 2010 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

“I would imagine that Huhne, Greenpeace, WWF, et al,
all get on like a house on fire”.

I rather like the house on fire bit Mac. Unfortunately the only things left after an uncontrolable house fire is usually dust and ashes. We need a few representatives of the fire brigade to get in there and dowse the flames before it spreads much further out of control.

Oct 29, 2010 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

I wrote to my MP complaining about Huhne's energy policy back in July. She subsequently asked him for a response and we are still waiting. Apparently it's very difficult for them to answer some rather basic policy questions but I won't let it rest until I get some response. The final response will be a load of crap I know but I would just love to hear him justify his comment that 'green technology can lower bills'.

Oct 29, 2010 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterScooper

Is Mr Huhne dancing to the greens' tune?
That question ranks with ones about pontifical religious affilations and ursine lavatorial arangments.

Oct 29, 2010 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterandyS

All of which is unsurprising given the massive if stealthy government pressure for 'green' jobs and 'sustainable' energy. In other words a desperate scramble to make some kind of policy sense out of the disaster of signing the UK up to the Climate Change Act 2008.

This insanity is being spun frantically as a triumph, but really it's all lies and we are all being robbed blind to pay for it.

Government levies energy companies via RO and FIT, they pass the costs on to us, and WE finance the army of PV installers, loft insulators and all the rest of the parasitical, subsidy-farming green 'economy'.

Pitiful and deeply angering.

Oct 29, 2010 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Government levies energy companies via RO and FIT, they pass the costs on to us, and WE finance the army of PV installers, loft insulators and all the rest of the parasitical, subsidy-farming green 'economy'.

Pitiful and deeply angering.

This is the same stupid legislation that stops me from doing a DIY hydro power on the Burn running next to the house. There are no MCS approved hrdro installers or equipment, MCS is mandatory for FITs and costs 80K. But FITs replaces ROC's and all I want to do is install and run my own Hydro plant and sell the surplus at the normal 5p per Kwh not the FITs 41p. So no ROC's and any surplus I make goes to the electricty board who charge me when I use it later on, and to get FITs I need to apply myself for MCS (which is the same as ISO9000 anyway).


Oct 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnH

Other news from the GreenieFront. Just heard on Fox that our ambassador from LaLa Land, Al Gore, made a speech in Sweden and left his car (SUV?) idling in the parking lot for an hour. It's against the law in Sweden to leave your car idling for more than sixty seconds. He did not get a ticket.

Oct 29, 2010 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterphilH

I am getting increasingly angry and frustrated that our government supported by nearly all MPs are embarking on an energy policy which will be ruinous to our economy and wellbeing and they can't even be bothered to find out the facts. Is not one brave enough to do a little reading, for that is all that is required to expose the faulty science and manipulated data which supports AGW.
BTW Neither gov spokesman nor opposition ( Chris Bryant) new the sum that the 2.9% increase in Euro contributions would be, implying the don't know the total contribution or the can't do simple sums.(Question Time last night). Astonishing.

Oct 29, 2010 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

Here is the piece referred to by Confused, above. Dellingpole put it in the Telegraph:

I recommend it.

And below, a commenter called Cerberus makes the following declaration:

"I hope one day to aspire to the the status of denier.

To that end I deny that there is one single shred of empirical evidence to support the Great Global Climate Fraud.

I deny that humankind is causing catastrophic warming.

I deny that CO2 is a pollutant in any way shape or form.

I deny that windmills are anything other than an absolutely insane waste of taxpayers' hard earned cash.

I deny that even doubling the CO2 in the atmosphere could cause more than a one degree rise in global temperatures.

However I do not deny that CO2 is a harmless trace gas in the atmosphere that is absolutely indispensible to the well-being of all plant and animal life.

I do not deny that CO2 is so harmless that even twenty times as much in the atmosphere would not affect human beings in the slightest.

I do not deny that, out of 35,800 molecules of air, mankind contributes just one of CO2.

I do not deny that for every 35,800 molecules of air there are only 33 molecules of CO2.

I do not deny that doubling atmospheric CO2, if it could be achieved, would result in a wholly beneficial greening of planet Earth leading to greatly increased crop yields.

I do not deny that CAGW is anything other than a wicked fraud that has enriched many undeserving crooks and charlatans.

I do not deny that the "environmentalist " policies of the IPCC and the EUSSR will result in economic disaster if they are successfully implemented.

I do not deny that for much of Earth's history CO2 levels have been ten times as high as they are today and previously to that, even higher."

Oct 29, 2010 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Wood

Just asking a silly question, but...

How many of those organisations get (a) DECC cash or (b) other government cash?

Oct 29, 2010 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterSlowjoe


Oxfam doen't get my cash any more!

Oct 29, 2010 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

I also wonder if Huhne has woken up to the fact that CO2 abatement as a policy is utterly useless?

The UK generates 1.84 per cent of global CO2 emissions and the contribution is still falling. China produces 22.3 per cent and the amount is growing fast.

UK reductions are overwhelmed by China's annual increase alone and are inconsequential on a global scale.

The industrialising countries will determine the ppmv of atmospheric CO2 in 2050 and beyond. Not the UK, or Europe, or the IPCC or anybody else who cannot count and doesn't understand the trajectory of industrialisation. As applied to, say, China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa...

So the Climate Change Act is fatuous and futile and should never have been signed. Anyone who believes that reducing CO2 in the UK is 'tackling climate change' is a buffoon.

How can people so abysmally stupid be allowed so much power and influence?

And why does anyone pay the slightest bit of attention to any of them?


Oct 29, 2010 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I agree with all the above posts, but we seem to be helpless to do anything about it. I write to the relevant ministers on a regular basis and to my MP, but all I get back is the same garbage about consensus science and meeting targets. Commonsense has gone out of the window.

I cannot get throught that they should let some power engineers, not greenies and politicians, decide our energy policy, but I get nowhere. Is everybody with influence bought off by the government?

If anyone can come up with some better ideas, direct action etc, I would be grateful. The only thing I can ultimately do is go off grid, but that won't help much if our economy is blown out of the water in the meantime.

Oct 29, 2010 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I used to be a member of one of the Conservative donor clubs. I cancelled my donation and membership and told them it was due to their failures regarding energy policy. I get the feeling others are doing the same. Bigger problem still seems to be the EU and the Lisbon Treaty. If the EU says we have to produce 20% of our energy from unicorn powered treadmills, we'll have to start looking for unicorns.

Oct 29, 2010 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

As Aesop so aptly told us is his fable "The Ass and His Purchaser":

"You are known by the company you keep."

Oct 29, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered Commentermanacker

You know, Philip (Bratby; above) what just might have to happen is a little taste of the worst. A few good, long brownouts when it's cold enough to make a permanent difference to your health.

When the consequences of letting the greens dictate energy policy are being wheeled away under blankets, perhaps then there will be popular interest in who is at fault.

All because an ideologically lobotomised 'environmental' lobby would rather commit seppuku with a rusty bread knife than endorse nuclear.

God help us. Really.

Oct 29, 2010 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Atomic - agreed, but as the search for unicorns will be futile, what then?

20 per cent renewables in the UK would be fine if the concept actually worked without a vast publicly-funded subsidy. But sadly it doesn't. So either we are all stuffed or the various insane policies our recent 'governments' have signed us up to will have to be revoked.

If it comes to it, unilaterally.

Oct 29, 2010 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

@ BBD "How can people so abysmally stupid be allowed so much power and influence? And why does anyone pay the slightest bit of attention to any of them? Why?"

The answer is in the post, really. All these NGOs have militant agendas and they gang up. These ministers are not hearing anything from the other side, and if they are like the Milibands they don't think that 'sceptics' should get a hearing anyway. If all you ever hear are advocacy groups with the same agenda, and have to meet them on a regular basis, it's surely going to affect your policy. I'm afraid the silent majority is always going to lose out to the aggressive vociferous minority - that's why they do aggressive advocacy, to get an outcome that they could never attain on the basis of reasoned argument or democratic vote.

As far as the aid charities are concerned (Tearfund, Oxfam, Christian Aid etc), yes, it's disgusting: they've all been taken in by the propaganda from the environmental movement. I saw correspondence between a friend of mine (a minister of religion) and Tearfund, and their argument is simply one from authority - but not divine authority, alas. Not all Christians have been infected with this drivel, though. For a robust and carefully reasoned distinctively Christian viewpoint on global warming and the poor, see here (note: 76 pages, and unabashedly referencing Biblical material)

Authors include Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist in Climatology, University
of Alabama, Huntsville; David Legates, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Climatology, University of
Delaware; G. Cornelis van Kooten, Ph.D., Professor of Economics and Research Chair in
Environmental Studies and Climate, University of Victoria, BC, Canada, Expert Reviewer,
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Oct 29, 2010 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

ScientistForTruth - thanks for the links. I shall inspect later - off to a meeting (just WWF, FOE, GP and a couple of ministers ... only kidding).

So offline for a while now.

Strongly agree you point - gangs of militant, shouty NGOs not exactly democracy in action but forces energy/climate 'policy' the wrong way.

Oct 29, 2010 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I see the eco-loons are claiming that climate sceptics are the moral equivalent of those who defend slavery.

You think I am kidding?

I am not!

Oct 29, 2010 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

As you all are completely aware it is not about the science, it is about money and control. Sooner or later somewhere there will have to be a legal challenge that brings the truth about the utter lying and futility of our political masters agendas. Think about how this can be engineered and we might solve the problem . If not try and chose a south facing cave to retire to.

Oct 29, 2010 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

It must of been fascinating to have been at the meeting with the Ass. of Energy Conversation, I wonder what it talked about?

Oct 29, 2010 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson

scientistfortruth and a post by messenger on ”from the archives” suggest an intriguing possibility: there’s resistance within the Christian Church, and it might prove more effective than all our rantings here.
It’s a commonplace of social science that change comes about within social structures, not by the interaction of us free radicals buzzing about in cyberspace. When the debate gets so hot it can’t be ignored, it will enter the mainstream media (as “climate sceptics threaten schism” or whatever).
I’d prefer it to happen within a democratic mainstream political party, but we’ll just have to accept the revolution we’re offered ...

Oct 29, 2010 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

We can but hope that are sensible people with influence at work behind the scenes of government. Otherwise we're all doomed. Doomed I tell you.

Oct 29, 2010 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby


Atomic - agreed, but as the search for unicorns will be futile, what then?

The EU fines us a couple of hundred million, gives 50% to NGO's to dream up the next tax raid and spends the rest on jollies. Remember this is politics, not engineering. At least our Climate Change Act is a little less costly, if we ignore it. People go on about it being 'legally binding' and worry about not meeting it's timescales, but so what if we don't? All it does is make it a duty for Huhne and his successors to give it a go, and a bunch of new powers. If that one's missed, it'll just be a slap on the wrist for whoever's Sec. State for DECC at the time, who can then blame his predecessors for not starting our nuclear build earlier.

My council was complaining they might miss recycling targets and get fined. I suggested they print more handouts and deliver them directly into householder's recycling bins, which could then go to incinerators and help avoid fines for missing landfill reduction targets. Costed in, but pointless, just as many environmental policies are.

Oct 29, 2010 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

@ Mac. The link you gave takes you to a paywall. Here's the way round the paywall:

Oct 29, 2010 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

Geoffchambers - I really, really doubt there will be any substantive resistance from the Church. All the evidence I have seen points to a strong synergy between CAGW and mainstream Christianity.

The congruence of the narratives is just too compelling for either side to resisit:

'Sin/capitalism = destruction of 'Edenic' environment and human suffering especially in Africa.

Repentance/'sustainability' = save the planet, Africa and your immortal soul'.

Atomic - liked you example re circular recycling logic. Very much. Glad you too appear to agree that the CCA 2008 has a limited future.

As I have been trying to argue with our local council (and anyone else who will listen) the problem isn't so much the climate debate, it is the green delusion that they should be trusted with policy responses.

This is how we have ended up with a broken energy/climate policy that will:

1. Fail to 'tackle climate change' in any way whatsoever.
2. Undermine future energy security.
3. Increase energy prices dramatically, hurting the poor and the elderly.

Oct 29, 2010 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Phillip Bratby

Otherwise we're all doomed. Doomed I tell you.

We have the government we deserve. We put them in power. They promised us all that they would take good care of us, cradle to grave and now we pay the price of our stupidity.

Me, I am brushing up on my Chinese.

Oct 29, 2010 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

He thought he knew which side his bread was buttered on, but he's the sort to jump ship quickly, once public opinion turns.

Oct 29, 2010 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris S

Chris S - you are talking about Huhne I assume?

Oct 29, 2010 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


That link is a game plan for propagandising and socialising people into belief of AGW. I've not read Mein Kampf, but I'm sure a similar stategy existed in the National Socialist movement in Germany in the 1930's.

Its frightening, especilaly when you see the mindset of the people who generated the 10:10 video....

Oct 29, 2010 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Phillip Bratby and BBD

It does seem it is going to take a couple of very cold winters over the next few years with some gas supply problems and rolling power cuts for the UK energy policy to be looked at more seriously.

Oct 29, 2010 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob B

I wonder if Skykon (What a marvelously named company!) have been rattling the begging bowl under his nose?
They've had £2.4m out of a promised £9.2m
The comments are rather interesting!

Oct 29, 2010 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

O/T but the Maldives claim to be running a carbon-neutral economy whilst relying almost exclusively for their income on tourists who fly in 747s into their spanking new airport. They hold cabinet meetings under water because they allegedly believe that (despite the reassurance of Professor Nils-Alex Morner that they have nothing to worry about) they are threatened by rising sea levels as the result of CAGW.

In fact they are scam artists adept at mockery. See:

Oct 29, 2010 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

Bishop H:
That is a very revealing piece of detective work. Thank you.

Does anyone know a good listing of troubled green companies with such information as the amount of government money pumped into them etc?

Oct 29, 2010 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Drake

Since sceptics are always trotted out as the big barrier to public acquiescence, shouldn’t Huhne be trying to negotiate with key UK sceptics? Remember that chart on the Left Foot Forward site? Bishop Hill was as significant as the World Bank, the Met Office, The NY Times or the Guardian. Surely that sort of mover and shaker in the climate pond deserves an audience?

Oct 29, 2010 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

My sincere sympathies go out to all the sceptics in the Dept of Energy, if, as I suspect, they must cower like Catholic priests in Elizabethan times, but you really must have been intolerably wicked in a former life.

Oct 29, 2010 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

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