Get real on climate change says city MP

Concerns voiced by Bath MP Wera Hobhouse that the government is using economic models from the 1990s to make decisions on climate policy.

Mrs Hobhouse – who is the Lib Dem spokesperson for climate and energy -questioned whether the Chancellor would review the models and ensure that policy aligns with the climate science of the 21st century.

This follows a recent report by Carbon Tracker which highlighted flawed assumptions underlying impact models of climate change, which were not reviewed by climate scientists but continue to influence policy.

The models harbour serious inaccuracies, including the assumption that climate change only affects outdoor economic activity, and fail to consider the non-economic impacts of climate change, such as biodiversity loss. 

One model predicts that a 4-degree rise would lead to only a 1-2% reduction in global GDP, but climate scientist Steven Sherwood warned in 2013 that a 4-degree rise would be “catastrophic.”   

In response to the Bath MP, the Minister failed to mention how the use of the 30-year-old models would change.

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath and Liberal Democrat climate and Energy spokesperson, commented:

“This is yet another example of climate action hitting an unmistakable low point on the government’s priority list.

“It seems obvious that these 20th-century models should not shape climate policy today, and It is deeply concerning that the Minister’s response showed no intention of changing this.

“The government must prioritise reviewing and updating its policy decisions based on the current reality of the climate crisis. Our planet cannot afford to wait any longer for meaningful, effective action.”