Do corporate-political allies attack green levies to protect their own private interest?

molly scott cato 4Some time ago, Dr Scott Cato (economics) pointed out that the wealthy, who have been elected to run our country, hold their wealth in exactly the sort of assets whose value would be undermined if we were to introduce the sorts of policies that tackling climate change urgently demands.

This means that even the small steps along the road to subsidising renewables, not to mention full-scale community ownership of generation on the Danish or German model, would seriously threaten their profitability.

nafeez ahmed logo

She refers to Nafeez Ahmed, who writes for the Guardian on matters of energy and has provided some excellent forensic analysis of the real interests that lie behind the faux concern for pensioner fuel poverty of parliamentarians like Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP for North Somerset. As well as being a prominent controversialist, Mogg is frequently to be heard speaking about the dangers of environmentalism and the problems with renewables. Ahmed notes:

“Rees-Mogg is a founding partner at Somerset Capital Management (SCM), a global asset management fund where he currently works as a macro specialist while also being an MP. Among its many investments, SCM specialises in emerging markets, including in the energy industry. Its largest holdings include oil majors such as the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) – which for instance is spearheading multibillion dollar deals to access the North American shale gas market – and Russia’s OJSC Rosneft Oil Company.”

She points out that wealthy politicians with similar vested interests lobby to keep the carbon bubble inflated, though many argue that it is more of a risk to our futures than the financial bubble that led to the 2007/8 financial crisis; the world has a vast overhang in terms of the value of fossil-fuel-related assets. If effective policies to tackle climate change are introduced this value will be undermined, leading to a collapse in energy commodity prices and the finance tied to them.

Her conclusion, with foreboding:

“(S)ince it is the world’s richest and most powerful people who own the assets, fossil and financial, they are hardly likely to see the value of those assets eroded without a fight. Much more likely that they will launch a full-scale assault on the political consensus around pro-climate policies, which appears to be exactly what we are seeing in the antics of Mogg and his ilk. Their insidious attempts to undermine the scientific evidence about the anthropogenic origin of climate change and the urgent need to address the issue flies in the face of the public interest but is very much in their own private interest”.

Read her blog here:



Posted on March 18, 2014, in Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Parliamentary failure, Vested interests and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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