Lord Frost says there’s no ‘climate emergency’ and Britain should end focus on ‘medieval’ wind power

Ex-Cabinet minister Lord Frost says there is no evidence world is facing ‘a climate emergency’ and Britain should end focus on ‘medieval’ wind power and go all in for nuclear and fracking

  • Lord Frost insists there’s no climate ’emergency’ as he hits out at current policies
  • The ex-Cabinet minister demands UK ditches focus on ‘medieval’ wind power
  • He calls change of tack with greater emphasis on fracking and nuclear power
  • Tory peer backs Liz Truss for PM – with claims he may soon return to Government 

Ex-Cabinet minister Lord Frost has insisted there is no climate ’emergency’ and urged the next prime minister to move away from ‘medieval technology’ such as wind power.

The former Brexit negotiator, who is backing Liz Truss for the Tory leadership, hit out at a ‘totally unrealistic approach to climate and energy policy’ over the past two decades.

He demanded Britain change tack from ‘managing demand’ for energy and instead put greater emphasis on fracking and nuclear power, as well as carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Calling for a ‘pragmatic’ response to climate change – which the Conservative peer said was just ‘one of the many’ problems facing the UK – Lord Frost blasted an approach that asked the public to ‘up-end the whole way our societies work’.

Lord Frost’s support for Ms Truss during the Tory leadership contest has prompted speculation he could return to the Cabinet – or become the new PM’s chief of staff – should the Foreign Secretary win the contest to replace Boris Johnson.

He was Mr Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator before being given a Cabinet role in March last year. But Lord Frost quit the Government last December with a swipe at the ‘direction of travel’ of Mr Johnson’s administration on Covid restrictions, net-zero ambitions and tax rises.

During the Tory leadership contest, both Ms Truss and her challenger Rishi Sunak have said they would support fracking in Britain if local communities supported it.

This has left open the possibility of a change of direction in UK energy policy under a new PM, with Mr Johnson having used his premiership to call for Britain to become the ‘Saudi Arabia of wind power’.

Lord Frost hit out at a 'totally unrealistic approach to climate and energy policy' over the past two decades

Lord Frost hit out at a ‘totally unrealistic approach to climate and energy policy’ over the past two decades

The ex-Cabinet minister urged the next prime minister to move away from 'medieval technology' such as wind power

The ex-Cabinet minister urged the next prime minister to move away from ‘medieval technology’ such as wind power

He demanded Britain change tack from 'managing demand' for energy and instead put greater emphasis on fracking

He demanded Britain change tack from ‘managing demand’ for energy and instead put greater emphasis on fracking

Mr Johnson also banned fracking in England within months of taking office, although he has paved the way for a reconsideration of the moratorium on shale gas extraction amid the current energy crisis.

The outgoing PM also pledged to build a nuclear power plant a year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has forced Western countries to end their reliance on oil and gas from Moscow.

In a new essay for the Policy Exchange thinktank, Lord Frost outlined how a new PM could alter the Government’s approach as he hit out at the ‘insidious effects of 20 years of a totally unrealistic approach to climate and energy policy’.

‘The current evidence does not support the assertion that we are in a climate “emergency”,’ the Tory peer wrote, as he delivered a fresh swipe at Mr Johnson’s climate policies.

‘Rather, the effects of climate change are a problem, one of the many we face, and should be tackled in that pragmatic way rather than by asking us to up-end the whole way our societies work.

‘Western society, and indeed world civilisation, depends on copious supplies of energy.

‘Yet the prevailing mood is one in which individuals are asked to restrict their use of energy and in which unsatisfactory renewables technology is touted as the best solution to our problems.

‘Instead of focusing on technological solutions that enable us to master our environment and get more energy in a more carbon-efficient way — nuclear, CCS, fracking, one day fusion – we have focused on managing demand so we can use medieval technology like wind power.’

Lord Frost's support for Liz Truss has prompted speculation he could return to the Cabinet - or become the new PM's chief of staff - should she win the Tory leadership contest

Lord Frost’s support for Liz Truss has prompted speculation he could return to the Cabinet – or become the new PM’s chief of staff – should she win the Tory leadership contest

Lord Frost despaired at how Britons are told by climate activists to ‘stop travelling, live local, eat less, stop eating meat, turn our lights out, and generally to stop being a burden’.

‘As most of us are generally reluctant to do this as individuals, the state has had to step in, with smart meters, heat pumps, LTZs (limited traffic zones), unsatisfactory electric cars, tailored taxation measures, and “nudges”,’ he added.

‘We have all gradually got used to this, and indeed internalised it, so that it seems normal to be lectured about the moral aspects of virtually every choice in our everyday lives.’

The peer said this had led to a ‘further loss of trust in free market economics’ but argued there was ‘overwhelming evidence that socialist systems have worse environmental outcomes’.

Ben Goldsmith, the chair of the Conservative Environment Network, hit back at Lord Frost’s claims.

‘Electricity generated from the wind is four times cheaper than electricity generated from gas,’ he said.

‘I wonder if David Frost has looked at these figures. This article looks about two decades out of date.

‘Being four times more expensive than wind, expensive gas should be used to generate power only as a back-up when needed.’

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