Debating Contributions

Please click on the names below to view contributions:




Addis, Richard, Editor, Daily Express
"Kyoto is based on a big lie. There is no scientific consensus on this issue."

Ashby, Robert, Executive Director, British Humanist Association
"At present, even if one wants to take greater personal responsibility for the environmental effects of one’s life it is hard to do so."


Battle, John MP, Minister of State, (Industry, Energy, Science and Technology)
"Now if we can do it on the moon, why on earth aren't we doing it on earth..."

Baxter, M.A., Hutton Parker, Estate Agents, Oxford
"...provide a minimum amount of FREE parking for cars powered by electricity or hydrogen"

Beckerman, Professor Wilfred, Economist and author of "Small is Stupid".
"Why should one try to impose heavy burdens on these poor countries today, which you have to do if you want to have effective reductions in carbon emissions, in order to improve the economic situation of their descendants in a hundred years’ time who are going to be ten times as rich?"

Beckett, Margaret, MP, President of the Board of Trade and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
"Certainly our Manifesto aim of a 20% reduction below 1990 levels by 2010 will involve changes in the way we perceive and use energy."

Benn, Tony, MP, (Lab. Chesterfield) Former Minister of Technology and Secretary of State for Energy
"There is no energy policy at the moment; the Government has accepted market forces…"

Bereisa, Jon, General Motors Corp. Director, General Motors Global Alternative Propulsion Centre
"We know that mandates don’t work and incentives do."

Best, Harold, MP, (Lab. Leeds NW)
"Our Victorian forefathers understood the need for schools to be within easy walking distance of their would-be pupils, and we should return to that aim."

Boswell, Tim, MP, (Con. Daventry) Shadow Energy Minister
"….we have been asking ministers whether they have got an energy strategy and they began by saying they did not really need to."

Brinton, Helen, MP, (Lab. Peterborough)
"I imagine that if thermal photographs were taken of our homes, many of us would be horrified..."

British Lung Foundation
"A more strategic transport and health policy is needed."

Burnett, John, MP, (L. Dem. Torridge and West Devon)
"The poor quality of the United Kingdom's housing stock leaves approximately 8 million homes in the UK shivering through the winter."

Burton, Sarah, Campaigns Manager, Greenpeace
"I am not going to suggest that it is pure PR, or that it is real. All I am saying is, if it is more than PR, but a real attempt to establish Shell in the vanguard of renewable energy, it is pathetic."

Butler, Tom, Bishop of Leicester
"That is what a spirit zone looks like. It is a zone where holiness, dedication, personal sacrifice matter…."



Caton, Martin, MP, (Lab. Gower)
"The monogamous relationship that must come to an end in Britain is the unhealthy, obsessive and dangerous love affair that, for far too long, we have enjoyed with a metal box that has a ring of rubber at each corner."

Chapman, Jake, Managing Director, National Energy Services Ltd.
"An energy rating of a house is a way of reflecting its energy performance, rather like a miles per gallon figure for a car."

Chaytor, David, MP, (Lab. Bury, North)
"Three years ago, the royal commission on environmental pollution recommended a doubling of fuel prices by 2005."

Chope, Christopher MP, (Con. Christchurch) A Front Bench Opposition Spokesman for Environment, Transport and the Regions
"Mr Prescott has said that he must be judged on the fact that he intends by the end of this Parliament there should be less traffic on the roads than there was at the beginning. It is quite clear that the trends are going in the opposite direction…."

Christensen, Lawrence R. (Logistics Director), Safeway Stores plc,
"Sir, At last there are signs of progress towards a transport policy that supports the needs of the freight industry."

Clapp, Philip E, President, National Environmental Trust
"The Clinton administration has basically reduced the Kyoto protocol, the Kyoto negotiations, to nothing more than a media opportunity…."

Clark, Alan, MP, (Con. Kensington and Chelsea)
"...very modern and very efficient big engines, mainly made by the Germans, are far less pollutant than some of the less efficient, smaller engines that are still around."

Clarke, Sir Arthur C CBE, Author, Chancellor, University of Moratuwa, Chancellor, International Space University, Fellow, King’s College, London
"There is perhaps an even more important matter I am concerned with – the dawning age of Infinite Energy…"

Clarke, Tony, MP, (Lab. Northampton, South)
"….my constituents are, fuming mad. They say, this is dreadful. You must get rid of this traffic."

Constance, Yvonne, Chairman, Electricity Consumers' Committees Chairman's Group,
"When we saw an increase of 8% on the fuel bills for domestic customers when VAT was introduced, I am not aware that anybody could tell me that there was an 8% reduction, or any significant reduction, in consumption."

Corbyn, Jeremy, MP, (Lab. Islington, North)
"We have signed the target set in Kyoto--I wish that it was 20 per cent. and not 8 per cent., but at least we signed up to something."



Dafis, Cynog, MP, (Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion)
"…there is no doubt that many of the new intake of MPs at Westminster are taking this big issue seriously"

Dalyell, Tam, MP, (Lab. Linlithgow)
"Much better for the sake of humanity that perilous substances should be dealt with by the disciplined and effective scientists willing to do so: they are to be found at Dounreay."

Davies, John B
"ARMAGEDDON will begin within the next five years."

Dinsmore, Andrew, MP (Lab. Hendon)
"There are 120,000 cars in Barnet and 20 per cent. of families have two cars or more, but 30 per cent. have no access to a car at all"

Drew, David, MP, (Lab. Stroud)
"...the Government must face up to it. If we genuinely want to make our society a better one in which to live, we must evolve a green tax strategy which penalises the use of the car while allowing moneys raised to go into other forms of transport."



Efford, Clive, MP, (Lab. Eltham)
"An important element ...... is to educate the public on the issues that need to be confronted, to give them the information that they need and to allow them to make choices."



Fay, Dr. Chris, Shell UK, Chairman and Chief Executive
"…..Our harshest critics of course will never be satisfied for they have a fundamentalist objection to our core business – the production, refining and distribution of oil and gas. I'm tempted to say many things, but announcing the end of our core business is not one of them!"

Fells, Ian Professor FREng
"Sir, The recent announcement of the closure of Bradwell nuclear power station in two years' time (report, Business, December 2) highlights the complaint made by Sir Bernard Ingham in his letter (December 21) and presents a dilemma to the Government."

Flint, Caroline, MP, (Lab. Don Valley)
"I do not believe that there is a teacher in this land who does not take a daily count of the number of inhalers used in his or her classroom."

Francis, Alan, Transport Speaker for the Green Party
"It is useful to reduce the pollutants that are coming from the exhausts of vehicles, but we have to reduce the total amount of traffic as well."



Gilroy, Linda, MP, (Lab. Plymouth, Sutton)
"Many of today's younger generation have a far better regard for and intellectual appreciation of the value of and threats to our environment."

Gorman, Mrs. Teresa MP, (Conservative, Billericay)
"More than 200 scientists attended the Rio convention, of which 54 were Nobel prize-winners who wrote a dissenting report….. Their views are ignored because they do not reflect the populist mood…"

Gummer, John, MP, Former Secretary of State for the Environment
"And what I see is that business – good environmental business – should be one step ahead, and organisations like Greenpeace should be two or three steps ahead. They will not always be right, but they will be drawing and pulling people towards them, constantly challenging, and that is the right balance."



Haley, Paul, New Business Development Manager, Eastern Electricity (Energy Retail, working on strategy and product development)
"We will be investing in wind power, and other viable, renewable sources, in order to hit the target."

Hall, Christopher, Co-ordinator, Christian Concern for One World
"A 1994 Shell Briefing on Renewable Energy quotes a World Bank statistic that the total energy needs of the world could be met with photovoltaic cells on an area less than that used to grow grapes."

Hartridge, Alex, Greenpeace activist, environmentalist and co-ordinator of Solar Polar 2000, Antarctic expedition.
"I believe that homo sapiens have wantonly opened an ecological Pandora's box of interrelated crises. We are wasting the world - we can not expect to get away with it. Anthropological climate change is unprecedented and the potential consequences are cataclysmic and possibly irreversible; for example, loss of biodiversity, collapse of eco-systems, ocean circulation shift and world weather patterns disrupted. Rational solutions and technology are available now and renewable energy is one of those solutions but they need to be invested in and instigated now if we are to stabilise climate change for a sustainable future. Transients that we are, we continue to pollute, exploit and destroy the planet.: We are systematically placing ourselves on the final index of extinction."

Hambelden Valley Group of Churches
"Our attitude to the physical world should be that shown in Leviticus 25, that it belongs to God, all of it, as His creation, and that we are His tenants - we do not own it, or any part of it or any thing in it, and we are answerable for it."

Helling, Dick, Oxford Bus Company, Oxfordshire County Council
"Oxford had until this last week-end electric buses. In fact the service has unfortunately just been withdrawn...They have been withdrawn purely for financial reasons."

Heppell, John, (Lab. Nottingham, East)
"I am much more concerned by what happens locally because that is where policies are delivered."

Howerd, Roland, Oxford
"If people only knew the half of it, they would be up in arms – wouldn’t they?"



Ingham, Sir Bernard, Former Press Secretary to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
"We have only to see the appalling damage that wind farms are doing to our hills and landscapes to realise that these are not benign…."

Ingham, Sir Bernard,
"Without nuclear power stations the Government would have no chance of meeting its Kyoto environmental commitments over the next 10-15 years."



Jackson, Glenda, CBE, MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions
"We cannot carry on as we are. Congestion on our roads is increasing and it delays people and the movement of freight. It causes personal frustration and cost to both the individual and the national pocket. The damage to our local and global environment is affecting our health and our climate."

Johnson, Michael, Automobile Association
"…you fill your car with petrol worth �20, �16 of that – 80% – is taxation, and goes direct to the Treasury. In America it is something like 5%, which is a minuscule amount."




Lepper, David, (Lab. Brighton, Pavilion)
"There is an aspect of car sharing that has found favour in this country—taking children to school. At other times of the day, car owners seem to fight shy of it."

Lilley, Peter, MP, (Con. Hitchen and Harpenden) Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
"Certainly we took a view that it was important to shift the balance of taxation from things which don't damage the environment to things that do, and began that process."

Livingstone, Ken MP (Lab. Brent East)
"The real lesson for John Prescott from the GLC experience is that it pays to invest in public transport….. Fares were reduced by 35 per cent. This generated a 70 per cent increase in passenger miles, with a resulting increase in fares revenue of 11 per cent."

Lynch, Tommy
"GM foods are intrinsically wrong, it's obvious, here we are on the brink of yet another BSE crisis. To say we do not yet know enough about the technology is an understatement of colossal proportions; it'll take decades!"



Meisen, Peter, President, Global Energy Network Institute
'There is no energy shortage, there is no energy crisis, there is a crisis of ignorance'

McArthur-Christie, Mark, Campaigns Manager, Association of British Drivers.
"…even the most flexible public transport services can never match the freedom, flexibility, comfort and safety of the car"

Morris, Julian
"The climate has been and will continue to be in a state of flux. A rise of 1°C over the course of 100 years is far from dramatic and is likely to have benefits as well as costs."



Norris, Steve, Director-General, Road Haulage Association, Chairman of the London Bus Company, Vice-president of the National Society for Clean Air
"I think the main issue, frankly, has always been the unwillingness of governments in Britain to invest…."




Parris, Matthew, Times and Sun Journalist and Former Conservative MP
"Roll on global warming! The sea could rise by a few metres, say the scientists.Not enough, I say ! Get those fossil fuels burning and let’s go for a real deluge."

Patterson, Owen, MP, (Con. N Shropshire)
"Unless the problems are addressed, traffic will increase to the point at which congestion damages the market economy."

Pearce, Fred, The Guardian
"Hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent in the past decade by scientists trying to disentangle natural and man-made influences on climate."

Penning-Rowsell, Professor Edmund
"I do believe that climate change is now almost definitely a fact, and that it is induced being by human activities creating great concentrations of gases, resulting in global warming."

Prescott, Rt Hon John MP Deputy Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions and President of the EU Environment Council
"Today is World Environment Day and looking at this disaster [Donana National Park in Spain, devastated by toxic sludge from a mine] will be a salutary reminder to us all of the impact of man on the environment."

Primarolo, Dawn, MP, (Lab. Bristol South) Financial Secretary to the Treasury
"This is not just hollow rhetoric. The UK has taken a lead internationally in pursuing action."




Radford, Tim, Science Editor, The Guardian
"One of my favourite lines from the oil industry is "the stuff is far too precious to burn".

Redwood, John, MP, Shadow President of the Board of Trade
"It is high time they made some decisions and defined whether this Government took the green targets more seriously or miners' jobs."



Sams, Craig, President, Whole Earth Ltd.
"The main cause of starvation in the world is poverty. Concentrating power in the hands of agrichemical and seed companies will not alleviate this problem."

Sartori, Umberto, Venetian citizen
"This is an appeal for help to safeguard Venice from a weighty continuative pillage."

Saunders, L
"Surely if you are concerned with road transport efficiency you should be more concerned with the fact that large superstores are contributing to incentives for motorists to use their car as opposed to using public transport."

Secrett, Charles, Director, Friends of the Earth
"It doesn’t seem to us to make any sense at all that people who drive small, sensible, fuel efficient cars are taxed at the same rate as people who drive very expensive, polluting, gas-guzzlers."

Sharpe, Mike, Regional Director, Transportation Planning (International) Ltd
"There is 15 times more cycling in Holland than in the UK, and the accident rate among cyclists is just one seventh of ours…."

Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions
"Labour’s first year in office has been characterised by a series of missed opportunities on the environment. The opportunity presented by World Environment Day today should nor be allowed to pass."

Simpson, Alan, MP, (Lab. Nottingham South) Author, 'Securing Britain’s Future, An Alternative Budget Report', March 1998
"There is a colossal amount to be done. But in reality the big debates will be structured outside Parliament, and Parliament will be influenced more by the nature of those debates amongst the public at large than by the discussion processes, inside Parliament."

Sloggett, Jonathan, Managing Director, Dover Harbour Board
"Forecasts show that if government policy is successful extra cross-Channel through-rail freight capacity will be needed within the next 10-15 years. The most cost-effective means of providing this is to include Dover…"

Spelman, Caroline, MP, (Con. Meriden)
"If motorists are to be discouraged from taking their vehicles to work and parking in an urban setting, there must be adequate parking facilities at the point from which they could take public transport."

Stevenson, Mark
"The debate is a moral debate. It may employ scientific evidence to support its case (on either side) but the correctness or otherwise of our behaviour regarding the environment is not a scientific issue."

Stott, Professor Philip, Professor of Biogeography, University of London
"…..humans survive climate change not by trying to play God with one or two chosen variables, but by constant economic, social and political adaptation."

Stunell, Andrew, MP, (Hazel Grove) Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Energy
"Home efficiency will stand in the marketplace alongside double garages and en-suite bathrooms."



Taylor, John M., (Con. Solihull)
"Perhaps I might be allowed to emphasise the strong Conservative record on energy efficiency."

Tebbit, Lord
"When you look at what is going to be inside this temporary building [the dome] what does it say? It’s suppose to be about celebrating the millennium, the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ."

Thomas, Baroness of Walliswood, (Lib.Dem.)
"All in all, there is a strong public interest in maintaining and expanding rail services. But the current structure inhibits those objectives."

Thomas, Gareth R., MP, (Lab. Harrow, West)
"Also welcome are the plans by the Chancellor to reduce VAT on energy-saving measures for the less well-off."

Thomas, Gareth R., MP, (Lab. Harrow, West)
"Renewable energy is where the knowledge-based economy meets the environment. It is where market-based solutions deliver reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and it provides opportunities to modernise and enhance our industrial and manufacturing competitiveness by developing new technologies and expertise."

Thompson, Jim, Bishop of Bath and Wells
"I wondered what the conversation would be like if God was at the [Kyoto] conference table."

Thurso, The Viscount, (Lib Dem)
"Until such time as we are prepared to regard expenditure on rail infrastructure as an investment—and perhaps even to consider road expenditure as a subsidy—then we will not have the political will to do anything to improve its current dilapidated state."

Townend, John, MP, (Con. East Yorkshire)
"As soon as [VAT on fuel] is announced you’ll upset all the old age pensioners but you won’t see an environmentalist for dust."

Turner, Dr George, MP, (Lab. North-West Norfolk)
"…We must take human nature into account and take people with us."



Unknown contributor



Vanke, Jeremy, Head of Policy, RAC.
"…The Chancellor has taken an extra �2 billion from the motorist this year in increased fuel taxes, and has given back a fraction of that to public transport, to rural areas. It is a really pitiful amount that will not make it any easier for people to leave their cars at home."

Vince, Dale, Managing Director, The Renewable Energy Company
"...what we are trying to achieve is a mass market for green power so that everyone can take up the choice without having to worry about paying more."



Warren, Andrew, Director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy
"When these same politicians actually entered the Treasury, their enthusiasm to achieve this objective seemed to wane."

Webb, Steven MP, (Lib.Dem Northavon)
"…in making a decision – Bristol to London is the sort of journey you could drive – if there was a good train service you would choose not to drive, and it is just those sorts of decisions where the environmental benefits are going to be particularly strong, because it is a major drive".

Williams, Heathcote,- poet/actor/inventor/playwright/painter
"...Were an Alien Visitor
To hover a few hundred yards above the planet
It could be forgiven for thinking
That cars were the dominant life-form,
And that human beings were a kind of ambulatory fuel cell,
Injected when the car wished to move off
And ejected when they were spent..."

Wilson, David
"At last the anti-development hysteria that has logjammed new ideas in town planning has been tackled head-on."

Woodin, Mike, Principal Spokesperson for the Green Party
"We are looking at between 60 to 80% reductions by 2010, but we do realise that there simply isn't the political will to achieve that."




Yeo, Tim, MP, (Con. South Suffolk) Shadow Environment Minister – Energy Efficiency
"I think that it is disappointing that there has been so little attempt made to analyse the impact of the two Budgets we have had since Labour came to power on energy efficiency."