Sammy Wilson

Sammy Wilson

Background

Sammy Wilson is an MP for Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for East Antrim. He is a former environment minister and one of the DUP’s most controversial figures when it comes to climate change.

Until Brexit, the DUP hadn’t garnered much attention in the British press but the party has a long history of science denial. A survey among DUP members found that 40 per cent believed creationism should be taught in science classrooms. And largely thanks to DUP lobbying, Northern Ireland remains the only part of the UK with no legally binding climate change targets in place.

In June 2017, following rumours of a Tory-DUP post-election deal, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas referred to Wilson and his Party. She said: “Is her [Prime Minister Theresa May’s] failure to propose a Brexit bill on the greatest challenge that we face because she simply doesn’t care about the environment and climate change, or because she’s been influenced by the DUP dinosaurs who sit beside me and don’t want to take that kind of leadership in the future?”

Stance on Climate Change

Wilson believes human caused climate change is a “gigantic con” and an “hysterical semi-religion”, and denies that there is a scientific consensus on the causes of climate change.

Key Quotes

June 2017:

Wilson welcome’s President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, stating:

…very wise decision by the US President to pull out of the totally flawed and pointless Paris Climate Change agreement.”

In the same statement published on his website, Wilson said: “The Paris Agreement itself is a delusion,” adding:

…pulling out of the agreement which was only a piece of window dressing for climate chancers who wished to pretend that they were doing something about an issue which they can’t affect anyhow is not the disaster which the green lefties are getting hysterical about.”

December 2008:

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph:

I think in 20 years’ time we will look back at this whole climate change debate and ask ourselves how on earth were we ever conned into spending the billions of pounds which are going into this without any kind of rigorous examination of the background, the science, the implications of it all. Because there is now a degree of hysteria about it, fairly unformed hysteria I’ve got to say as well.” 

I don’t care about CO2 emissions to be quite truthful because I don’t think it’s all that important but what I do believe is, and perhaps this is where there can be some convergence, as far as using fuel more efficiently that is good for our economy; that makes us more competitive. If we can save in schools hundreds of thousands on fuel that’s more money being put for books or classroom assistants.” 

Key Deeds

June 2017

Wilson welcomed Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord on climate change as “very wise”.

July 2014

Wilson organised a meeting in the House of Commons in central London on behalf of “Repeal the Act”, a group that argues the “climate is always changing” and seeks to repeal the UK’s Climate Change Act. In attendance were known climate science deniers Peter Lilley and David Davies, alongisde contrarian economist Richard Tol.

October 2010

In 2010, Wilson hosted a group of climate science deniers at the Palace of Westminster for “Climate Fools Day”. The event was supported by Labour MP and Global Warming Policy Foundation member Graham Stringer. One of the event invites read: “The danger is not Climate Change but Climate Change Policy – for which there is no evidence in justification.”

February 2009

Wilson placed a ban on UK government TV and radio adverts that were encouraging people to cut their carbon emissions. Wilson described the ads as insidious green propaganda.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons | CC3.0