Published by the Telegraph
A Tory peer has criticised his fellow Lords in a row over a report calling for Covid-style messaging to persuade the public to change their lifestyles to meet net zero goals.
Lord Lilley said a report out on Wednesday overstates the extent lifestyle changes such as reducing meat consumption, flying or buying fast fashion are needed to hit climate change targets.
The report states that a third of emissions reductions in the next 13 years will require changes by individuals and households, including buying new technology.
It warns that targets for emissions cuts by 2035 could be missed unless the Government does more to encourage behaviour change.
It recommends tactics similar to those used during lockdown, as well as taxes and greater regulation.
An amendment to the report written by Lord Lilley, but rejected by the other nine members of the committee, says direct lifestyle changes actually account for just 10 per cent of needed emissions cuts.
Writing for The Telegraph, Lord Lilley warned that net zero is being used as an excuse by “those who love bossing people about” and “eco-warriors who want to regress to a pre-industrial world”.
The Tory peer said the switch to electric cars and heat pumps, which the committee included in its targets, should not be considered lifestyle changes – because they should enable households to “drive and heat our homes as much as we like”.
Lord Lilley, who was one of only five MPs to oppose the Climate Change Act in 2008 and was once vice-chairman of an oil and gas company, said the science that proves global warming is “robust”.
But he said recommendations for “more frugal, healthy, and active lifestyles … should not be imposed on the pretence they are necessary for net zero”.
Baroness Parminter, the chairman of the environment and climate change committee, said technology changes would require some lifestyle alterations.
“If you have an electric car, you have to make changes in how you get the kids to school, because you have to charge the vehicle,” she said.
“If you’re moving to a heat pump, there will be changes in how you live your life as it provides heat in a different way.”
She added that Lord Lilley “has been a really valuable member of the committee”.