Yesterday the United Kingdom Independence Party unveiled its new policy on climate change ahead of the general election, due within the next few months.
The policy, which took a sceptical position, was unveiled by the party’s leader, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, and Lord Monckton of Brenchley, a former advisor on scientific policy to Margaret Thatcher’s government. During his time in the Thatcher government he warned the then prime minister of the possible threat posed by global warming and supported greater research into the issue.
Lord Monckton, who joined UKIP last year, said that his new party would be against taking drastic action to defeat climate change on both scientific grounds and on democratic grounds.
He said that ahead of last year’s Copenhagen Climate conference a draft text had been prepared that had continued reference to a “world government” needed to deal with the issue. However Lord Monckton said that the text did not mention once words like “democracy”, “election”, “ballot” or “vote”.
He said, “UKIP approaches the climate question the same that it approaches the EU question. If it is necessary to have a world government it should be elected”.
On scientific grounds Lord Monckton said the idea that climate change was caused by human activity had not yet been proven and that even if it was, reducing carbon emissions is not the way to tackle the issue.
Lord Monckton slammed the use of computer models by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as an unreliable research method in determining global temperature records. He said, “If you want to know the length of my tie you can call up all the tie manufacturers and ask them the average length of the ties they sell and produce a model based on that. Or you could just measure it”.
He went on to say that global warming measured between 1983 and 2001 was probably caused by a naturally ocurring reduction in cloud cover, recorded from space by satellite pictures.
He said that “Our conclusion is that there probably isn’t a problem and even if there were, there are cheaper and more effective ways of dealing with it, such as adapting to climate change.”
“If you closed the whole carbon economy for 41 years you would only forestall one degree of warming”.
As a result he said that UKIP’s policy would be to cease funding for the IPCC, pull out of the EU’s Carbon Trading Scheme and to establish a Royal Commission that would allow scientists on both sides of the debate to research climate change and come to a conclusion.
This, he said, would allow politicians to then act sensibly in response to the science rather than spending billions at a time of recession on ineffective carbon emission measures, when “the science is not settled”.
Lord Pearson welcomed the policy as a possible vote winner, citing a recent Guardian poll which found that the number of people sceptical of climate change has increased 50 per cent to around four out of five people, despite the three main parties giving a high priority to fighting climate change.