Monarch used secretive procedure to become only person in country not bound by a green energy rule
The Queen’s lawyers secretly lobbied Scottish ministers to change a draft law to exempt her private land from a major initiative to cut carbon emissions, documents reveal.
The exemption means the Queen, one of the largest landowners in Scotland, is the only person in the country not required to facilitate the construction of pipelines to heat buildings using renewable energy.
Her lawyers secured the dispensation from Scotland’s government five months ago by exploiting an obscure parliamentary procedure known as Queen’s consent, which gives the monarch advance sight of legislation.
Five days later, when MSPs debated the bill, Wheelhouse put forward an amendment that applied only to land privately owned by the Queen. It specifically prevents companies and public authorities from compelling the Queen to sell pieces of her land to enable the green energy pipelines to be built.
Buckingham Palace says Queen’s consent, a process requiring ministers to notify lawyers when a proposed bill might affect her public powers or private interests, is a “purely formal” part of the parliamentary process.
However, there are increasing examples where the Queen has taken advantage of her consent privileges to require changes before she formally consents to the law proceeding through parliament. That appears to have occurred on this occasion in Scotland, where the procedure – known as crown consent – operates in the same way.
Wheelhouse responded that the amendment was “required to ensure the smooth passage of the bill”. However, he did not disclose that the Queen’s lawyers had lobbied for the change. The amendment was passed with Wightman and a handful of other MSPs opposing it.
- California is banning gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and weed trimmers
- Alaska snow crab harvest slashed by nearly 90% after population crash in a warming Bering Sea
- Important climate change measures for South Africa get Cabinet nod
- Physics Nobel rewards work on climate change, other forces
- Six-Month Sentence for Lawyer Who Took on Chevron Denounced as ‘International Outrage’
- Extreme Heat Exposure in Cities Has Tripled in Just a Few Decades, Scientists Warn