How the Department for Climate Change spent millions on flights that cause... climate change

Research from the Taxpayers Alliance shows that Whitehall doesn't always practice what it preaches. Also, an unlikely but familiar figure pops up in Croydon North

Share

Air travel is notoriously the form of transport that people who care about climate change do their best to avoid – a rule that seems not to apply to the ministers and civil servants at Department of Energy and Climate Change, who have been flying hither and thither like travellers on a frenzied mission to achieve maximum air miles. The Taxpayers’ Alliance have wheedled out the information that the department has spent more than £1.5m on 3,496 flights in the past two and a half years.

The single most expensive was a business class booking to London from Cancun, in Mexico – where the climate change summit was held in December 2010 – costing £5,792. And the high ups at Decc do not just fly to foreign parts. When they need to travel between cities in the UK, it seems an aircraft is again their vehicle of choice, because the long list includes just over £250,000 worth of domestic flights, including two between Manchester and London costing £188 each.

“Despite being one of the departments making air travel more expensive for people paying their own way, Decc has spent an astonishing amount of taxpayers’ money on flights. This looks like breathtaking hypocrisy,” said Matthew Sinclair, the Taxpayers’ Alliance chief executive.

The windmills of your mind

If you are an MP debating a difficult subject such as wind farms, it is always helpful to have a colleague chime in to say that he agrees with you. Or nearly always. A Lincolnshire MP, Stephen Phillips, was in the middle of complaining about wind farms that keep the good folk of Lincolnshire awake at night with their “whoosh, whoosh” noise, when he received this not altogether helpful intervention from a fellow Tory MP, Karl McCartney: “Do you agree that the point you were making, which has gone completely out of my mind… regarding our area of Lincolnshire… I have completely forgotten what I was going to say…” The wind farms must really have been ruining his sleep.

Can Labour beat the rap?

The impending by-election in North Croydon, caused by the death of the much respected Labour MP Malcolm Wicks, could turn out to be livelier than Labour would like. Lee Jasper, who ran into considerable controversy during his time as race relations adviser to the former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, has popped up in Croydon as the candidate for the Respect Party.

He and Respect’s leader, George Galloway, have recorded a campaign rap, posted on Facebook. “If you’re tired of the same old, same old… If you’re upset that the banks have got away with murder and you want to see some change in this country, then I’m your man,” it goes. Mr Galloway has promised in a separate video that even if they do not win, Respect will put up the “most visible, enthusiastic and original campaign”.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: Outgunned by a lack of military knowledge

Guy Keleny
Ukip leader Nigel Farage in Tiny Tim’s tea shop while canvassing in Rochester this week  

General Election 2015: What on earth happened to Ukip?

Matthew Norman
Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road