Tom Burke

By Paul Homewood


Tom Burke, founding Director of the climate change think tank E3G, appears frequently in the media.

He faced Nigel Farage a couple of months ago:


Farage does his best, but allows Burke to get away with too many facile claims. Most of it is straight out of the AEP playbook:

  • Renewables are super cheap
  • Batteries are cheap
  • Hydrogen is wonderful
  • Subsidies are not subsidies but investment

Farage points out that it is the poor who are most affected by the obscene subsidies paid out to renewable generators, which Burke does not dispute. Instead he deflects by claiming it  will all be worth it in the long run. What he fails to explain though is why renewable energy still needs subsidies, mandates and carbon taxes to be competitive , if it is so cheap.

Burke then goes onto complain that we have not got enough battery storage, without being challenged over the fact it cannot run the grid for the days on end when the wind fails.

He then says we should insulate our homes more, but does not tell us how much this will cost, or who will pay.

Finally he tells us we should be producing hydrogen from all of the surplus wind power we will have in future. Again however he does not tell us how ridiculously expensive this would be be, especially when electrolysers would be working so intermittently. Nor does he say how much it will cost to store all of this hydrogen, or build lots of new hydrogen burning power stations.

When we stand back though, a clearer picture emerges. This is what Tom Burke wrote in 2013:


In that article, Burke called for a massive reallocation of investment capital, which would only happen if subsidies were put in place. There was no talk then of renewables being cheap.

And in common with many environmentalists, Tom Burke is opposed to nuclear power, despite its obvious contribution to decarbonising.


Tom Burke, by the way, is also a former Director of Friends of the Earth, so anything he says about renewable energy and Net Zero need to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

The simple reality is that he wants to get rid of fossil fuels regardless of the cost to the public.


May 23, 2023 at 04:00AM

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