PMQs: Is Lord Donoughue the best person to quote on climate change, Mr Cameron?

According to the register of Lords' interests, Lord Donoughue has shareholdings in Premier Oil, the National Grid as well as Scottish and Southern Energy.

During PMQs today, David Cameron mounted a strident defence of the government’s opposition to the 2030 carbon target by siezing on comments made by Labour Peer Lord Donoughue:

“The point about voting for a price rise, he [Ed Miliband] has to answer because this is what former Labour energy spokesman Lord Donaghue said in the Lords:.. ‘the amendment will raise the cost of living and is conflict with a price freeze’… the whole country can see he’s a one-trick pony and he’s run out of road,” Cameron said.

Cameron is correct: Lord Donoughue did indeed say that. The question is whether Lord Donoughue is the best person to quote on the case for renewable energy.

Perhaps not.

According to the register of Lords’ interests, Lord Donoughue has shareholdings in Premier Oil, the National Grid as well as Scottish and Southern Energy.

He is also one of the board of trustees on Lord Lawson’s crackpot climate-sceptic think tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).

The GWPF claims that there is “huge controversy about the relative contribution of man-made CO2 versus natural forces”, when in reality there isn’t. An analysis of abstracts of 11,944 peer-reviewed scientific papers published between 1991 and 2011 and written by 29,083 authors found that 98.4 per cent of authors endorsed man-made global warming.

Sorry Mr Cameron, but Lord Donoughue is probably not the most reliable source on decarbonisation.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.