Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg



Jacob Rees-Mogg is Conservative MP for North Somerset and was appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on September 6, 2022.3GOV.UK. “The Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP,” GOV.UK, September 6, 2022. Archived September 7, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/NY52f Rees-Mogg stepped down from the role on October 25, 2022.4Charlie Moloney. “Jacob Rees-Mogg quits with handwritten letter dated ‘St Crispin’s Day’,The Guardian, October 25, 2022. Archived November 5, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/CWwma

Previously, Rees-Mogg was the Leader of the House of Commons from July 2019 to February 2022.5Mat Hope, Richard Collett-White. “Is Boris Johnson’s Cabinet the Most Anti-Climate Action Ever?DeSmog, July 25, 2019. In February 2022, he was named as the minister for Brexit opportunities and government efficiency in a cabinet reshuffle.6Peter Walker and Heather Stewart. “Rees-Mogg becomes minister for Brexit opportunities in Boris Johnson reshuffle,” The Guardian, February 8, 2022. Archived February 9, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/GxBLo In May 2017, he was voted the party grassroots’ favourite to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister – a suggestion he has repeatedly dismissed.7Alessandra Rizzo. “Jacob Rees-Mogg tops Conservative poll on next party leader,” Sky News, September 5, 2017. Archived December 19, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/8bMio 8Rees-Mogg laughs off leadership talk,” BBC News, September 4, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

He has claimed that “climate alarmism” is responsible for high energy prices, and that it is unrealistic for scientists to project future changes to the climate because meteorologists struggle to correctly predict the weather.9Jacob Rees-Mogg. “Climate change alarmism caused our high energy prices,” The Telegraph, October 23, 2013. Archived December 19, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/kWUyS

In 2014, he was referred to the parliamentary standards watchdog for failing to disclose interests in a company with millions of pounds invested in fossil fuel, mining, and tobacco firms when speaking in relevant debates, the Independent reported.10Jane Merrick. “Leading Tory backbench MP Jacob Rees-Mogg ‘failed to declare interests’,” Independent, December 14, 2014. Archived December 19, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/e79mH

In April 2019, Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister Annunziata was announced as a European Parliament election candidate, standing for Nigel Farage‘s Brexit Party.11Joe Watts. “Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister to stand for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in EU elections,” The Independent, April 12, 2019. Archived April 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/iiVh4

Rees-Mogg is well known for his socially conservative views on issues including abortion and the use of food banks.“Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg defends ‘extreme’ abortion views,” Independent, September 9, 2017. Archived December 19, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/PwAqr

Stance on Climate Change

March 2014

In an interview with “Chat Politics”, Rees-Mogg said he thought humanity should adapt to, rather than mitigate, climate change, and cast doubt over the effectiveness of humans’ ability to change the climate for future generations, misrepresenting a recent report from the UN‘s expert body, the IPCC.12Jacob Rees Mogg Climate change is not worth fighting,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Anyone but the Tories,” April 28, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

I would like my constituents to have cheap energy rather more than I would like them to have windmills,” he said.

If you read the IPCC report on this [climate change] it said that if you were to take action now to try and stop man-made global warming, it would have no effect for hundreds or possibly a thousand years. I’m all in favour of long-term policymaking. But I think that trying to forecast the climate for a thousand years, and what little steps you make now having the ability to change it, is unrealistic. And I think the cost of it is probably unaffordable.”

I think you need to look at ameliorating the consequences of anything that may happen, like dredging the rivers on the Somerset levels so the flood waters have some means to escape – doing that on a wider scale. Looking at the Dutch experience over hundreds of years in making land that is below sea-level prosperous agricultural land. I think you ought to take that approach rather than going back to living in the stone-age by reducing people’s use of energy.”

I think we have to be realistic about what we can change, the timescale over which we can change it, and actually I think mankind is highly adaptable, and we need to look at more adaptability rather than changes in behaviour.”

October 23, 2013

Writing in the Telegraph, Rees-Mogg said:13Jacob Rees-Mogg. “Climate change alarmism caused our high energy prices,” The Telegraph, October 23, 2013. Archived December 19, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/kWUyS

It is widely accepted that carbon dioxide emissions have risen but the effect on the climate remains much debated while the computer modelling that has been done to date has not proved especially accurate … common sense dictates that if the Meteorological Office cannot forecast the next season’s weather with any success it is ambitious to predict what will happen decades ahead.”

Key Actions

May 20, 2022

According to a report from The Guardian, Rees-Mogg was among Conservative politicians pushing for environmental land management schemes (ELMS) to be scrapped.14Helena Horton. “Hard-right Tories push to delay environmental land management scheme,” The Guardian, May 20, 2022. Archived July 22, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/A7VdP 

ELMS, which include three separate schemes, were introduced by Michael Gove during his time as environment secretary to “reward environmental land management” and “support the rural economy while achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050”. 15Environmental Land Management schemes: overview,” GOV.UK, March 15, 2021. Archived August 8, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/6Gs4M

April 25, 2022

According to a report in The Telegraph, Rees-Mogg said at an event hosted by free-market think tank the Centre for Policy Studies that the government’s policy to reach net zero by 2050 “is going to be a huge regulatory cost” that the UK needed to “face up to”.16Tom Rees and Ben Riley-Smith. “Jacob Rees-Mogg warns over ‘huge cost’ of net zero drive,” The Telegraph, April 25, 2022. Archived July 6, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/b24T7

According to The Telegraph, Rees-Mogg also said that achieving net zero should be driven by innovation rather than “endless regulation” and that it was “fundamental” to keep costs of the transition low.  

April 4, 2022

Speaking on LBC radio ahead of the release of a new government strategy for energy security, Rees-Mogg said: “We want to get more oil out of the North Sea, we want to get more gas out of the North Sea.”17Adam Forrest. “UK should drill ‘every last drop’ of North Sea oil and gas, says Jacob Rees-Mogg,” The Independent, April 4, 2022. Archived May 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/7YFrr

He added: 

“We need to be thinking about extracting every last cubic inch of gas from the North Sea. We are not going for net zero tomorrow – 2050 is a long way off. We’re going to need fossil fuels in the interim. We should [use] ours that we have got available.”

February 9, 2022

According to reporting by The Times, Rees-Mogg recommended to prime minister Boris Johnson that the UK return to fracking amid the UK’s gas crisis. Johnson reportedly rejected the suggestion but told his cabinet that oil and gas will continue to play an important role in the country’s energy supply as it transitions to net zero.18Steven Swinford. “Bring back fracking, says Jacob Rees-Mogg,” The Times, February 9, 2022. Archived February 9, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/Ep3LL

May 21, 2019

Rees-Mogg was interviewed by fellow climate sceptic writer, James Delingpole for Breitbart. During the interview, Rees-Mogg said conservatives should stop being “mini-me socialists” and praised Donald Trump:19James Delingpole. “Exclusive Rees-Mogg Interview: ‘We Need to Move Away from Being Mini-Me Socialists’,” Breitbart, May 21, 2019. Archived June 19, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Fox7s

“Donald Trump does conservative things. He had a fantastic budget that cut taxes. He was Reaganite in his approach. He’s got drive and enthusiasm for what he does. His judicial appointments are really well thought-through. He’s much more deliberative and thoughtful than people give him credit for…”

January 2018

Rees-Mogg was elected to lead the influential pro-Brexit Conservative group of MP backbenchers, the European Research Group (ERG). The group was formed by Eurosceptic Conservatives and campaigns for a hardline approach to Brexit.20Rowena Mason. “Jacob Rees-Mogg to lead influential group of Tory Eurosceptic MPs,” The Guardian, January 16, 2018. Archived December 19, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/auwYQ

In a statement, Rees-Mogg said: “It is especially important to achieve control of our laws, control immigration and achieve new trade agreements with other countries.”

December 2017

The Guardian revealed Rees-Mogg met with Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist and previous chairman of the right-wing and climate science denying website Breitbart News, to discuss how conservative movements can prosper in the UK and US.21Rowena Mason and Heather Stewart. “Jacob Rees-Mogg met Steve Bannon to discuss US-UK politics,” The Guardian, December 1, 2017. Archived December 19, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/auwYQ

December 2014

Rees-Mogg was referred to the parliamentary standards watchdog for failing to declare that he was a founding partner and director of Somerset Capital Management – a firm that held investments worth about £3 million in mining firms, £2.4 million in oil and gas producers, as well as £23 million in tobacco companies – when speaking in relevant debates, the Independent reported.22Jane Merrick. “Leading Tory backbench MP Jacob Rees-Mogg ‘failed to declare interests’,” Independent, December 14, 2014. Archived December 19, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/e79mH

Todd Foreman, Labour Party candidate for North East Somerset at next year’s election, accused Rees-Mogg of putting his business interests ahead of those of his constituents:23MP Jacob Rees-Mogg under fire for not declaring financial interests,The Week In, December 15, 2014. Archived February 13, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/6tMEW

“While working as an MP, Rees-Mogg reportedly earned more than £500,000 from a second job at Somerset Capital Management. Despite its name, Somerset Capital Management has nothing to do with Somerset, but it is in fact a London-based hedge fund that invests in overseas companies, including substantial interests in tobacco, oil and coal mining companies.

These apparent breaches of the rules regarding declarations of financial interests by Jacob Rees-Mogg are very serious, and residents in North East Somerset should be very concerned to learn how Jacob Rees-Mogg is using his position as an MP to promote his own business interests.”

January 22, 2014

Rees-Mogg complained in parliament about having too little time to debate a 2030 framework for climate and energy policy “just at the time when people are realising that they want cheap energy, not more environmental regulation.”24Daily Hansard Debate,” Parliament.uk, January 22, 2014. Archived December 19, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/wDClz

October 2013

In an opinion piece in the Telegraph, Rees-Mogg criticised the UK government’s policy for pushing to move away from cheap and dirty forms of energy such as coal due to “climate alarmism.”25Jacob Rees-Mogg. “Climate change alarmism caused our high energy prices,” The Telegraph, October 23, 2013. Archived December 19, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/kWUyS

In the same article, he criticised Met Office climate models for being inaccurate, and compared climate scientists’ reliance on them to financial analysts’ use of computer models prior to the 2008 financial crash.


Social Media


Rees-Mogg lists articles he writes for local news outlets on his website.30NEWS,” Jacob Rees-Mogg. Archived December 20, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/A4SrK

Other Resources


Photo: Wikimedia Commons | CC3.0

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