Boris Johnson gives Honours to climate science deniers and fossil fuel lobbyists

The Tories don't care about the climate

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson’s honours list has come under renewed criticism not only for handing awards to Tory cronies but also because it rewards MPs and political advisors with ties to climate science denial and the oil and gas industry.

The former Prime Minister’s disgraceful honours list has been widely condemned for rewarding failure, with aides linked to partygate among those who have been given honours. Rishi Sunak has been under increasing pressure to block Johnson’s list, especially after he was found by the Privileges Committee to have knowingly misled Parliament with his contempt described as ‘unprecedented’.

Among his 45 nominees are also MPs and political advisers with links to climate science denial, including Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is being given a knighthood and who claimed in 2014 that efforts to limit global warming “would have no effect for hundreds or possibly a thousand years”. Andrea Jenkyns MP awarded an OBE, recently joined the UK’s main climate science denial campaign group  Net Zero Watch (NZW).

Net Zero Watch says it exists to highlight the serious economic and societal implications of expensive and poorly considered climate and energy policies” but is more often than not found to be ‘decrying climate hysteria’ on talkRadio and GB News.

While the Tories have tried to portray themselves as a party that cares about tackling climate change, its actions have always shown the opposite.

Also among those handed out honours are Michael Fabricant who has previously written that it is “undeniably true” that “unthinking climate change worship has damaged British industry and put up consumer bills”.

DeSmog also reports that former Home Secretary Priti Patel, who was handed an honour, ‘is a prominent ally and supporter of lobby group FairFuelUK and sits on its All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) of the same name. FairFuelUK is funded by the haulage industry, and its director Howard Cox is a climate science denier. Last August, Cox said: “I am now even more convinced man is not responsible for global warming.”

Johnson’s former deputy chief of staff, David Canzini will also receive an OBE. Until 2022 Cazini worked as a director of the lobbying firm CT Group, which offers advice to oil and gas companies. Its clients have included the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association and BHP, which has mining and oil assets.

At COP26 Johnson told the world that it was time to get real about climate change. His honours list shows why he needs to follow his own advice.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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