Andrew Tyrie

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Andrew Tyrie was the Conservative MP for Chichester from 1997 until he stood down at the 2017 general election.


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Andrew Tyrie voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus[1].

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Andrew Tyrie voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease[2]. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe[3]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[4]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Climate Change

On 28th October 2008, Andrew Tyrie was one of only three MPs (plus two tells) to vote against the Climate Change Bill[5]. In March that year Tyrie had written an article for The Times where he had presented his arguments as to why the bill should be rejected[6].

Many of the arguments that Tyrie presents against intervention are based on the economics. However, in a debate which he initiated in the House of Commons on 5th May 2008[7][8], he throws doubt on the scientific consensus, though he simultaneously maintains that he personally does believe that anthropogenic climate change is taking place:

"When I was at school, the standard orthodoxy in geography lessons was that we were on the threshold of a new ice age. Another orthodoxy was that the world faced an era of unparalleled mass starvation unfolding as a consequence of a Malthusian population growth trap. Forty years later the science of global cooling has been replaced by the science of global warming and the Malthusian crisis has been solved by man's capacity to adapt, using new technology. In the latter case, high-yielding crops delivered what became known as the green revolution. We need to be careful about swallowing orthodoxies."[9][10]
"There are a lot of measurement problems with global warming. There has not been any global warming for the past eight years, although that is not well known, and whether there was a rate of faster growth in the temperature of the planet in the 1930s or in the 1990s is hotly disputed—if I may use that phrase. There are also some interesting disputes about whether the last century or the mediaeval warm period was the warmest in the last millennium."[11][12]
"Six conditions need to be met to justify the Government's proposed action on carbon emissions over the next 40 years. The first is to establish whether the planet is actually warmer, which was what we were just discussing. Establishing that involves considerable measurement problems, but it is clear that the planet has warmed. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's median estimate is 0.6 per cent. over the past 100 years, with a margin of error of plus or minus 0.2 per cent. Secondly, it needs to be shown that we are causing that increase.
"Thirdly, we need to be confident that global warming will continue and that the so-called feedbacks that will come with any change in the temperature will not abate the warming. Fourthly, we need to be clear that by sharply reducing mankind's carbon emissions, we can secure an arrest or reversal of temperature increases. Fifthly, we need to be sure that the main carbon producers of the world—the UK contributes about 2 per cent. of total carbon emissions—will co-operate and implement massive reductions with us. Sixthly, we need to ensure that the cost of largely decarbonising all the world's economies is less than the damage that would be caused by a failure to abate carbon emissions. That was the issue raised by Mr. Smith.
"I intend to consider only the last of those six conditions today, although it is important to bear in mind that they all need to be fulfilled before any country embarks on sharp reductions in carbon emissions. As I have pointed out, several of those conditions might not be fulfilled and, contrary to popular perception, all six are highly controversial. There are strong majority views among experts on some of the issues, but the world of climate science is new and fast-changing and, contrary to what we are often told, there is certainly no consensus on many of those matters."[13][14]
"At the beginning, I gave a list of six conditions that need to be met, among which were that we need to be clear that the planet is warming, that we are causing it, and whether removing the effect that we might be introducing to the system can arrest or reverse the process. My personal view is that global warming is taking place and that there is, in the language of climate science, an anthropogenic signal, which might be large.
"I have noted that arguments within the scientific community about the scale of that signal are now extremely vigorous. It is not true that the scale of the anthropogenic signal is settled among climate scientists. However, my hon. Friend asked for my personal view. I have read quite a lot on the subject, and my view is that the anthropogenic signal probably forms a large proportion of the increase. Nevertheless, we must bear in mind that the temperature increase was only 0.6 per cent. over the past century, with no further increase in this century, and a not yet fully explained cooling period between the late 1930s and early 1940s and the 1960s. In other words, we are back to the measurement issue that I raised a moment ago."[15][16]



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