By Paul Homewood

Campaign group Net Zero Watch is again calling for an inquiry into the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the Government’s official advisers on decarbonisation. The move follows revelations at the weekend that the CCC’s chief executive, Chris Stark, had tried to use obfuscation to “kill” questions over the adequacy of its energy system model, rather than addressing them directly. This behaviour put Stark in direct breach of the Nolan standards for public officeholders.

The scandal, published in the Sunday Telegraph, is just the latest of a series of controversies that have dogged the CCC since its inception.

  • In 2013, it was revealed that CCC chairman Lord Deben had a conflict of interest, retaining his position as chairman of a company involved in windfarm installations after his appointment. He had told the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee that he would divest himself of all such interests if appointed.
  • In 2019, it was revealed that Lord Deben’s family company was still taking large sums of money from businesses working in the environmental sphere.
  • In 2023, it was revealed that those payments to Lord Deben’s company were not properly disclosed in the Register of Interests.
  • In 2021, it was revealed that the CCC had used spurious weather data in their modelling, thus enabling them to reduce the capacity of electricity generation and storage equipment apparently required.
  • It was also revealed that the CCC used spurious figures for the cost of electric vehicles, thus reducing the apparent costs.
  • The CCC tried to hide its model from public scrutiny, spending tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayer’s money fighting a lawful Freedom of Information request.
  • More recently, the CCC admitted that its electricity system modelling is inadequate. The resulting understatement of costs is as much as tens of billions of pounds per year.
  • It has also been revealed that the CCC “waves away” most of the cost problem, simply by assuming extraordinary cost reductions in future. With current technology, the cost of Net Zero will be hundreds of billions of pounds higher.

Net Zero Watch director Andrew Montford said:

‘The list of scandals at the Climate Change Committee seems to be endless, but Parliamentarians seem to want to let them get away with it. If the House of Commons Energy Security and Net Zero Committee again fails to launch an inquiry into the governance of the CCC, and in particular Chris Stark’s management and the adequacy of the modelling that underpinned the 2019 Net Zero report, it will look very bad.’