David Frost, the influential Conservative peer who has been criticised for claiming that rising global temperatures could be beneficial to the UK, is being appointed to a key parliamentary committee on the climate crisis.
The appointment showed that “wacky, fringe views on climate” were no longer confined to the Tory party’s extremes, Labour said.
Frost, who was Boris Johnson’s Brexit negotiator, will be appointed at the end of the month to the House of Lords select committee on environment and climate change.
The former diplomat, who became a peer in 2020, is also a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which opposes a number of net zero environmental policies and which is funded by wealthy Tory donors. He describes the foundation as an “educational charity in this area”.
In a debate in the House of Lords last year, Frost said that rising global temperatures due to the climate crisis were “likely to be beneficial” in the UK, because it would mean fewer people would die from cold temperatures.
“At the moment, seven times as many people die from cold as from heat in Britain. Rising temperatures are likely to be beneficial,” he said.
More recently, he has been issuing veiled criticisms of Rishi Sunak from the right of the party.
A YouGov mega-poll that last week projected an election wipeout for the Tories was commissioned by Frost in collaboration with Conservative Britain Alliance, a previously unknown organisation described only as a “group of Conservative donors”, which covered the estimated £70,000 cost.
Ed Miliband, the shadow secretary of state of climate change and net zero, said Frost’s appointment showed that Aunak was trying to keep those seeking to oust him onside.
“Rishi Sunak is so weak that he has allowed this key position to go to someone who thinks the climate crisis is a good thing,” he said.
“The truth is that wacky, fringe views on climate are no longer resigned to the extreme wing of the Conservative party – they are now the official position of Rishi Sunak’s flailing government.
“By trying to keep happy those in his own party who want to oust him, Sunak is putting party above country. The result is a disastrous energy policy that will leave Britain with high energy bills, energy insecurity, and Britain left lagging behind other countries.”
Downing Street has been approached for a comment.