Ed Davey hasn’t had a great conference. First the jokes in the energy secretary’s speech bombed. Then a sign fell on his head on live television (above). Now he’s got Luciana Berger on his case over factual errors. The Labour MP has written to Davey to point out contrary to what he said in his conference speech, questions have been asked by the Labour front bench about climate change.
Here is what Berger had to Davey about the ‘untrue claims in your speech to Lib Dem party conference’:
Dear Mr Davey,
I am writing to you about factually inaccurate statements made in your speech to the Liberal Democrat party conference yesterday.
Specifically, you claimed that “not a single question on climate change” had been asked of you by the Labour frontbench during your time as Secretary State for Energy & Climate Change. This is untrue.
Indeed, I put the following question to you just before the summer recess on what progress the Tory-led Government is taking to secure a new global climate change treaty:
“Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps the Government is taking to help negotiate a new international agreement on climate change by 2015; and if he will make a statement. (27 June 2013, official report, column 347W)”
Seeing as it was your Tory colleague who actually answered the question, I can understand why this might have slipped your mind.
I have also asked your ministerial colleagues since then what progress has been made in securing a global agreement to reduce aviation emissions, which was part of the climate change agenda that the Prime Minister agreed to at the G8 leaders’ summit earlier this year.
My colleague the Shadow Secretary of State also welcomed the progress made at the Durban climate talks and wished Britain’s negotiators well for the Doha climate change conference last November.
I am sure it was not your intention to wilfully mislead people, but I am not surprised that you would prefer to distract from your Government’s disastrous green record.
On your watch Britain’s carbon emissions are rising rather than falling and the Committee on Climate Change has forecast that we are not on track to meet our carbon reduction targets.
You have also refused to set a decarbonisation target now to clean up our power supply by 2030, making you the first Energy Secretary to ignore the independent advice of the Committee on Climate Change.
And although you spent much of your conference speech claiming you were engaged in “trench warfare” with the Conservative Party over the green agenda, not a single Liberal Democrat MP spoke up to defend the Climate Change Act when it came under attack from Tory backbenchers during a debate in Parliament last week.
If you are serious about working together with other parties to tackle climate change, I would suggest you refrain from making untruthful attacks and focus on how we can combat the greatest threat to our planet’s existence.
I look forward to hearing what steps you will be taking to correct this mistake.