Lord Howell’s address at IBBC Mansion House conference


Lord Howell, one of the last great ministers from Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, addressed the IBBC at the Mansion House about energy supply and investment.

He addressed the geo political and decentralised nature of the world and how its important to conduct good relations with neighbour’s, but also we need to be adaptable and flexible in the digital age of networks, with smaller less geo -block driven groups in a complex world, the idea of being in sphere’s of influence may be passing.

In terms of energy, emissions will continue to rise, so new initiatives are required to counter them, such as absorption of carbon from the atmosphere in a gigantic way or suffering and damage will occur on a huge scale. Over 60 million people are on the move, and we must work together to solve this issue. Energy transition won’t happen overnight and will take a while to change without affecting the poorer nations and creating economic catastrophe. Trade and investment need to change its nature, and from the UK a more defined approach to aid and development is being created.

Finally, the oil stability and supply driven by OPEC is a major source of instability and unbalanced today. There is nothing balanced about $120 oil, and financing Putin’s butchery in Ukraine. A couple of extra million barrels a day are quite accessible if OPEC wishes and can avoid distress to poorer nations.

There is no neutrality between orderly government and vicious attacks from Putin’s war. We are all in fact fighting less visible wars of new kinds- cyber, economic, sanctions, culture wars, fake news, rule of law against tyranny and climate wars coming. We are all in danger and need to work together to establish rule of law among responsible nations as all these wars are being weaponised. We either hang together or hang separately.

Lord Howell will also be a key speaker at the IBBC Cumberland Lodge retreat week in August and address geo politics and the oil and energy markets.