John Ashton: UK Treasury ‘cult’ blocking climate ambition

Ashton calls on UK Government to ditch ‘neo-classical economic thinking’ and lead development of green sector

Ashton served as Special Representative for Climate Change to three successive UK Foreign Secretaries from 2006-2012

The UK’s former chief climate envoy John Ashton says the Treasury’s attitude to low carbon investment is ‘cultish’, and needs to be reformed.

In a speech entitled: ‘Climate Change, Growth, and the Baleful Power of a Modern Cult’, he called on the British government to take the lead in developing an energy infrastructure not hooked on oil or gas.

Ashton, who served from 2006-2012 in the Foreign Office, said there was an urgent need for long-term strategic thinking within government, together with an understanding of the potential risks posed by climate change.

“Our path in Britain to a low carbon growth model is blocked on behalf of the neoclassical cult by what you might call the modern Treasury view,” he said.

“Its exponents claim the high ground of reason. Their method is “evidence-based”, they say. It can tell us how the policies we are proposing will affect the output of our economy, not just next year but nearly 15 years hence in the case of the carbon budgets.

“Really? Models based on that same theory were projecting five years ago that our national output would now be nearly a quarter more than it actually is.”

Read John Ashton’s full speech below on our Scribd account:

John Ashton Speech July 2013 – CHOICE by

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