Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Sammy accused of ‘solo run’ on climate change ad ban

Sammy Wilson has been accused of “going on a solo run” after it emerged that his decision to ban a series of advertisements urging people to tackle climate change was not based on any scientific evidence.

The Environment Minister, a climate change sceptic, did not consult any scientific articles when deciding not to air the Westminster-sponsored Act on CO2 ads, the Department of the Environment admitted.

The Green Party said it proves the decision was based on no more than Mr Wilson’s personal intuition, and his “solo run” had placed the DUP between a rock and a hard place.

The revelation was made by the Department in response to a Freedom of Information request put by a member of the public, who wanted to know which scientific articles the Minister had consulted.

In a letter replaying to the FOI request, a DOE spokesman said: “The ‘Act on CO2’ brand is a Whitehall product. The decision to run the ‘Act on CO2 campaign, throughout the UK, was not fully agreed by all UK devolved administrations.

“The Scottish Government also decided not to show the ‘Act on CO2’ advertisement. As climate change is a devolved matter, Minister Wilson believed, within its jurisdiction, only Northern Ireland Ministers had the right to promote its climate change policy.

“The decision not to show the ‘Act on CO2’ advertisement in Northern Ireland was not based on any scientific information that the Minister consulted. We have therefore no scientific article or articles that we can provide to you relating to your Freedom of Information request.”

Green Party MEP candidate Steven Agnew said: “We can now finally put to bed any claims by the Minister that his views are based on anything other than his own personal intuition, which is not a reliable source. He’s clearly on a solo run on this issue and has now placed the DUP between a rock and a hard place.”

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