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

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

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Wilbur, the pig who thinks he's a dog (Dom Joly)  

My hilarious pet pig Wilbur is more popular than I am — so I'll let him bring home the bacon

Dom Joly
 

Amazon's new 'payment by the page' policy will just result in longer but likely worse literature

Katy Guest
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'