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    New Energy Minister Had To Ask Whether Climate Change Is Real

    "When I first came to this job one of my two questions was: ‘Is climate change real?’" Andrea Leadsom has been quoted as saying.

    Reuters / Neil Hall / ThinkStock / BuzzFeed

    The new minister for energy, Andrea Leadsom, has said that she wasn't persuaded that climate change was real until she got the job.

    Drill or Drop reported her as saying to the all-party parliamentary group on unconventional gas and oil: "When I first came to this job one of my two questions was: 'Is climate change real?' and the other was 'Is hydraulic fracturing safe?' And on both of those questions I now am completely persuaded."

    Leadsom has already raised concerns among environmentalists. In 2012 she wrote to David Cameron demanding cuts to wind farm subsidies; before that she criticised the previous government's willingness to sign up to European renewable energy targets.

    She has been in the role since 11 May.

    Barry Gardiner, Labour’s shadow climate change minister, told BuzzFeed News that Leadsom’s admission calls into question David Cameron’s judgement. “It is very simple," he said. "Either the prime minister did not know that Andrea Leadsom was not convinced of the reality of climate change or he simply did not bother to find out.

    "Whichever is true, it displays a cavalier attitude to the vital importance of our climate commitments immediately before the most important climate summit in Paris. It is quite incredible that the UK could have sent a minister to Paris who did not believe in climate change.”

    When contacted by BuzzFeed News, a DECC spokesperson said in response to Gardiner's comment: "We are absolutely committed to getting a global deal in Paris, which will create a level playing field for businesses, driving innovation and growing the low carbon economy.”

    Tom Chivers is a science writer for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

    Contact Tom Chivers at

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