With Andrea Leadsom returning to lead energy policy as part of Boris Johnson’s government, Andrew Warren wonders if energy demand myths will once more be used to push for fracking. When considering how the new Business Secretary is likely to approach the Green Economy, most commentators have limited themselves to considering Andrea Leadsom’s role as Leader of the House of Commons, as a diehard Brexit campaigner, and as a recent convert to tackling the global ‘climate emergency’. Largely overlooked has been what happened during the months when she was a junior energy minister during that brief second Cameron government, between 2015 and 2016. I now tell the cautionary tale of how, as an energy minister, Andrea Leadsom went out of her way to downplay environmental successes, whilst promoting climate despoiling activities. One of her most revealing initiatives was when she started claiming that energy usage in Britain was on the increase – even though statistics from her own Department stated clearly that consumption had fallen each year for the past decade. Fuel usage has subsequently fallen even lower, to below what it was 50 years ago. Overall energy usage had declined from 196.8 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) in 1964 to 187.9 mtoe in 2014. At the same time, national Gross Domestic Product has leaped by almost 270 per cent. Even gas consumption was no higher than it had been 30 years before.
Business Green 6th Aug 2019 read more »