Sceptic Lilley Swamped With Letters Demanding Climate Action

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Climate ‘lukewarmist’ Peter Lilley has been inundated with heartfelt pleas from his constituents – including schoolchildren – requesting action on climate change and renewable energy, a DeSmog UK investigation reveals.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Conservative MP and senior non-executive board member of Tethys Petroleum has received at 46 letters since Nov 2012 related to energy, the environment and climate change. 

There is only one instance among the 46 letters where a constituent echoes Lilley’s sceptic views on climate change and renewable energy.

Lilley, a member of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, passed the letters to Ed Davey, the secretary of state for the Department of Energy and Climate Change. 

Tory Manifesto

More than a third (37 percent) of these letters specifically support renewable energy and action on climate change. Other issues raised include energy prices, nuclear power and in one case criticism of fracking. 

One October 2014 letter reads: “Dear Peter Lilley, I love London, but unfortunately it could be affected by climate change if we don’t take action to protect it. As my MP, please help me to protect the things I love.”

Lilley is one of only three of MPs who voted against the Climate Change Act in 2008 and remains a scathing critic of renewable energy.

It won’t cost the earth to save the planet. Please take action on climate change. I really care about our environment,” another letter dated to last April states. “Please also push for a strong manifesto commitment from your party to say what they’ll do to decarbonise our economy rapidly.”

These documents follow the Tories' manifesto announced last week which gives continued support for the Climate Change Act and ending the use of unabated coal.

However, the party also highlighted its support for shale gas and called for a “halt to the spread of onshore wind farms”. As it happens, one of Lilley’s constituents wrote asking for his support for onshore wind power.

Save Our Future

Lilley’s younger constituents have also asked him to help promote climate action. In a September 2014 letter, two students write:

Dear Mr Lilley, I am writing to raise the concern about the future we will be facing. We are concerned about the amount of fossil fuels we are using and wasting… On our own we can make a difference, but together we can change the world. We would like you to consider our thoughts and perhaps mention it to others.”

The students continue: “Our Science Teacher quoted: ‘you do not inherit the world from your parents, you are only borrowing it from your children’ – Native American Proverb. This means that if we want our children to have a future as good as ours (possibly better) we should treat the world with the upmost [sic] respect.”

We would like you to help us by explaining to others how important it is to save the environment, by cutting down on fossil fuels, which will save our future,” they conclude.

Lilley has not responded to requests by DeSmog UK for a comment on the subject. The letters were released by DECC following a series of FOIA requests by the Request Initiative on behalf of DeSmog UK.


Photo: BBC via Creative Commons

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