Huhne ‘orders inquiry into fossil fuel lobby influence over Tory MEPs’

From the Guardian this week:

Chris Huhne has ordered a private inquiry into which fossil fuel lobbyists “got to” the Conservative MEPs who defied David Cameron and voted down an ambitious carbon emissions target in the European parliament on 5 July.

“I have asked for a full analysis of what happened,” said the energy and climate change minister, speaking at an event in parliament. “We thought the vote was going to be close, but it was not close. We want to see which lobby groups managed to get to the MEPs.”

New research by the Guardian and Greenpeace into lobby groups and businesses seen by Tory MEPs in 2010 reveals there were more than four times as many meetings with fossil fuel companies, carmakers and others against stronger action on global warming than with green businesses and those pushing for deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

As the paper reports further on:

Huhne had been successful in gathering support from other countries to increase the EU’s 2020 greenhouse gas target from 20% below 1990 levels to 30%, arguing it was in the UK’s best economic interests. But Tory MEPs were key in carrying a vote against the plan, despite Cameron promising to intervene after their intention was revealed by the Guardian. …

Chris Davies, the Lib Dem environment spokesman in Europe, said: “The prime minister’s promises to lead the greenest government ever sound very hollow indeed when his own party fails to walk the walk on cutting carbon emissions.”

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  • Daniel Henry 24th Jul '11 - 4:06pm

    One of the coalition policies was to create a lobbyist register to at least make lobbying transparent.

    When’s that going to happen?

  • Simon McGrath 24th Jul '11 - 4:35pm

    What does “a private inquiry” mean. is this a party matter which is fine. or are government resources being used, which is highly inappropriate?

  • What’s the beef? He’s the climate secretary for the UK, why dosn’t he just bring a law before the UK parliament to have the 30%? – Or have we given all the power over to the EU in that area too?

    “Huhne had been successful in gathering support from other countries to increase the EU’s 2020 greenhouse gas target from 20% below 1990 levels to 30%, arguing it was in the UK’s best economic interests”

    If he’s already done that, why don’t the other govts just do it… sure the EU wouldnt prevent countries from going further from the 20%…..

    Chris Huhne seems to to be going off the rails in my opinion

  • david thorpe 25th Jul '11 - 11:44am

    @ daniel
    unfortuntaley meps may not be covered by any such register

  • Don Lawrence 25th Jul '11 - 2:19pm

    Cameron’s ability to “plausibly deny” responsibility for the wrecking of our work by any part of his party except the MPs in Westminster comes to the fore again. When will Nick learn we are getting almost nothing out of the coalition except blame and the crisis this party faces is his responsibility and he has got to sort it.

  • “When will Nick learn we are getting almost nothing out of the coalition except blame?”

    When will Nick learn that propping up this corrupt Tory-dominated government on behalf of Rupert Murdoch is doing the Liberal Democrats irreparable damage? Paul Walter is probably right in saying that Cameron won’t be around next year, so why not pull the plug on this awful coalition now? The Liberal Democrats could salvage much respect by offering themselves to the electorate as the party which saved the country from Tory sleaze and saved the NHS from privatisation by stealth.

  • LondonLiberal 26th Jul '11 - 10:39am

    Huhne should ask Vince Cable why he has given his backing to the National Planning Policy Framework which states that ‘sustainable develoment’ means granting planing applications quickly. With Cabinet colleagues undermining attempts to make the UK genuinely sustainable, what’s the point of Huhne doing anything?

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