GRANT Shapps has had a number of ministerial roles under a series of Tory prime minister’s and has now been handed the net zero brief.

Rishi Sunak created four new government departments, putting Shapps in charge of energy security as well as the portfolio to meet emissions targets - but what is his voting record on climate and environmental issues?

The Tory MP was first elected in 2005 for Welwyn Hatfield in Hertfordshire, before serving as a junior minister and then party co-chairman under David Cameron, before resigning his role as minister for international development due to his handling of bullying allegations.

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But it wouldn’t be long before Boris Johnson brought Shapps back into government as transport secretary in 2019, holding the job of home secretary for six days under Liz Truss before he was made business secretary. 

With the business brief being subsumed with trade under Kemi Badenoch’s new brief, The National have analysed publicly available voting information from Shapps to see what climate change policies he voted for, against, and abstained on.

Using data available on They Work For You, we discovered that overall Shapps has generally voted against measures to stop climate change.

The National: Shapps has generally voted against measures to combat climate changeShapps has generally voted against measures to combat climate change

Which climate change measures has Grant Shapps voted against?

  • June 3 2013 - voted against setting a target requirement range for the amount of carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) produced when generating electricity.
  • December 4 2013 - voted against allowing CO2 emissions limits to be set in stations where pollution reduction measures have been put in place.
  • October 26 2015 - voted against clause 42 of the Finance Bill, which would have brought in a surcharge for CO2 emitting vehicles which cost over £40,000.
  • March 14 2016 - voted against setting a decarbonisation target for the UK.
  • March 14 2016 - voted against requiring a strategy for carbon capture and storage (CCS) for the energy industry.

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  • October 24 2019 - voted against a motion calling on the UK Government "to rebuild the economy so that it works in the interest of the many, not just handing out rewards to those at the top" and bring forward "a green industrial revolution to decarbonise the economy and boost economic growth".
  • February 5 2020 - voted not to call on the UK Government to create a plan to eliminate the majority of transport emissions by 2030.
  • May 3 2016 - voted not to reduce the permitted carbon dioxide emission rate of new homes.
  • November 16 2020 - voted against a Labour motion aiming to establish regulations on climate risk in relation to pension schemes and reaching net zero emissions targets by 2050.
  • January 12 2021 - voted not to require the Financial Conduct Authority to have “regard to the target of reducing UK greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by 2050 when setting capital and risk related requirements for investment firms”
  • January 26 2021 - voted not to require public authorities to act in accordance with the following principles in relation to the environment: preventative action to avert damage; the precautionary principle; rectifying damage at source and "polluter pays".
  • May 26 2021 - voted not to ban the burning of certain types of vegetation in almost all upland areas with peat soils in England.
  • June 7 2021 - voted not to make supporting reducing greenhouse gas emissions targets in the UK to zero by 2050 part of the initial core mission of the Advanced Research and Invention Agency.

The National: Shapps has served in a number of Cabinets, including under Boris JohnsonShapps has served in a number of Cabinets, including under Boris Johnson

Which climate change measures has Grant Shapps abstained from voting on?

SHAPPS was absent on eight occasions when bills relating to climate change were being voted on in the House of Commons since 2008.

  • June 8 2008 - second reading of the Climate Change Bill.
  • October 17 2012 - Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill — New Clause 22 — UK Green Investment Bank — Duty to Support Climate Change Act Targets.
  • December 19 2012 - second reading of the Energy Bill June 4 2013 - third reading of the Energy Bill September 29 2020 - Clause 6 of the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill. This would require climate and nature impact statements to be made as a “prerequisite for financial assistance” under the legislation.
  • October 12 2020 - Clause 42 of the Agriculture Bill. This stopped a requirement for ministers to have “due regard to greenhouse gas emissions targets” by 2050 when taking decisions such as in agricultural subsidy schemes.
  • December 13 2021 - Subsidy Control Bill, again relating to net zero emissions targets.
  • May 18 2022 - Programme for Government, which included a number of provisions relating to climate change.

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Which climate change measures did Grant Shapps support?

  • October 28 2008 - voted in favour of the Climate Change Bill at third reading stage.
  • June 11 2012 and October 17 2021 - voted in favour of establishing a Green Investment bank July 14 2015 and September 8 2015 - voted to apply the climate change levy (tax on non-domestic electricity supplies) to electricity generated from renewable sources.
  • November 3 2021 and January 10 2022 - voted in favour of laws enabling the government to direct funds from electricity consumers, via electricity suppliers, to help pay for, and encourage private investment in, new nuclear power stations.