The Carbon Trust, financed by Defra, has a remit to encourage business to cut emissions and become more energy efficient, thereby also saving money.

However, critics have pointed to the fact that for the past three years, emissions in Britain have actually risen, questioning whether Mr Delay’s bonus was justified, or whether it was a waste of taxpayers’ money.

This analysis, though, fails to take into account the fact that emissions from industry – the area that the Carbon Trust is charged with tackling – have actually fallen (see related story).

The rise in emissions is more concerned with areas of direct government responsibility such as transport and agriculture, over which the Carbon Trust has no remit.

It would appear that the real reasons for the accusations against Mr Delay are due to the current backlash over high-profile appointments to the government from consultancy firm McKinsey’s.

Conservatives have long been calling for the full extent of the relationship between the government and the firm to be made public. Conservative peer Lord Hanningfield has tabled questions asking how many civil servants from Downing Street are on secondment to McKinsey and vice versa, as well as what government contracts the company holds and how much they are worth.

David Hopkins

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