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Queen Elizabeth secretly ‘lobbied Scottish ministers for climate law exemption’


Queen Elizabeth secretly ‘lobbied Scottish ministers for climate law exemption’

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It has been revealed that the Queen’s lawyers covertly persuaded Scottish officials to alter a draft legislation so that her private property would be exempt from a green energy regulation aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

The monarch can review proposed legislation that might impact her interests, property, or authority via a legislative procedure known as queen’s consent, or crown consent in Scotland. Critics argue that it allows the queen to advocate for modifications to be incorporated in the final version of a law.

Correspondence between Buckingham Palace and the Scottish Government was disclosed in a Freedom of Information request by Lily Humphreys, a Scottish Liberal Democrat researcher, and was originally published in the Guardian newspaper.

The exemption implies that the Queen, one of Scotland’s biggest landowners, is the only person in the nation who is not obligated to help build pipelines to heat houses with renewable energy.

Her lawyers obtained the exception from Scotland’s government five months ago by using the arcane parliamentary process, which allows the queen to see legislation before it is passed.


The papers also claim that Nicola Sturgeon’s administration failed to reveal the lobbying during a parliamentary discussion in which lawmakers questioned why the Queen was getting a green energy bill exemption.

Buckingham Palace said the monarch’s participation in the legislation was to guarantee “technical accuracy and consistency,” according to a statement.

“The royal household can be consulted on bills in order to ensure the technical accuracy and consistency of the application of the bill to the crown, a complex legal principle governed by statute and common law. This process does not change the nature of any such bill,” the spokesperson told The Guardian.

The Heat Networks Bill promoted the use of subsurface pipes rather than fossil fuel-powered boilers to heat homes and buildings.

Between the late 1960s and the 1980s, the Queen frequently exploited her privileged access to draft laws to persuade ministers to alter UK legislation to benefit her private interests or reflect her views, according to a series of stories published in recent months by the Guardian.

The Queen’s permission for the Heat Networks Bill was requested in January this year, according to the papers, but many conversations were redacted.

The move appears to be at odds with Prince Charles, who actively fights against climate change, and Prince William, who recently cautioned about the effect of carbon emissions.

“Scottish government policy is that the crown should be subject to regulatory requirements on the same basis as everyone else, unless there is a legitimate reason for an exemption or variation. However, crown consent is required by law if a bill impacts the private property or interests of the sovereign — and that is what happened in this case,” a spokesperson for Scotland’s government said, according to The Guardian.

The measure was hailed by Sturgeon’s administration as a critical piece of legislation in the fight against climate change. The heat networks bill, it claimed, will help decrease emissions, alleviate fuel poverty, and generate green jobs.

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