A group of green NGOs, climate activists and the BBC seem to have kicked off a campaign to pressure, embarrass and humiliate Boris Johnson over his governments climate policies. It is almost certain that we can expect this campaign to accelerate in coming months as the new government begins to approve new infrastructure projects, new roads and airport expansions.
The UK “must get on track to delivering net zero emissions” in this Parliament, the Committee on Climate Change warned Boris Johnson.
The UK must get its “house in order” on tackling the climate crisis as it prepares to host major international talks on the issue, the Prime Minister has been warned.
The UK’s efforts to deal with climate change have so far fallen short, Lord Deben, chairman of the Government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change (CCC), and Baroness Brown, chairwoman of the CCC’s adaptation committee, warned.
Boris Johnson failed to enact legislation parliament passed to tackle the climate emergency over the past year. During the election campaign he dodged the party leaders’ debate on climate change, perhaps to avoid difficult questions on his record. We also reported how the Tory party receives 94% of donations made to politicians by backers of climate change denial, with Boris Johnson the biggest single recipient of any politician.
In a letter to Boris Johnson, they called for action to cut emissions from buildings, transport, electricity, industry and land and agriculture, as well as efforts to reduce the risk of flooding, extreme heat, drought and harm to nature.
Government actions in the coming year will define the UK’s response to the crisis, they said, and have a lasting global impact as Britain plays host to key UN talks in Glasgow in late 2020.
The letter spells out the scale of the challenge facing the Prime Minister to answer public calls for climate action and build towards the UN talks, which will require a huge diplomatic effort to increase international ambition to cut emissions.
The experts write: “UK efforts to address the climate crisis have so far fallen short…..”
The new Conservative government must urgently bring forward plans to fulfil its pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 or risk losing the fight against climate breakdown, green campaigners have urged.
Rebecca Newsom, the head of politics at Greenpeace UK, said the Tory manifesto was “full of holes” on the environment and had been judged inadequate by green groups, and people would expect swift action.
“The weight of responsibility and growing public concern now rests on Boris Johnson’s shoulders to ensure the UK rises to the challenge, fights for climate justice and shows real leadership,” she said.
“The next five years are make or break for the climate and nature emergencies, so we expect the new government to immediately roll out bold commitments to tackle the challenge. This should start with a climate emergency budget to pledge at least 5% government spending per year to deliver a fairer and greener economy for all.”