Two leading Conservative campaigners for bolder action on the environment and climate change were awarded jobs in Prime Minister Johnson’s administration over the weekend, in a move many campaigners will be hoping provides a signal climate action is set to be a top priority for the new leader. On Saturday Zac Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, was named as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development (DFID), and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Meanwhile Simon Clarke, MP for Middlesborough South and East Cleveland, was on Saturday appointed Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury. Clarke is also a CEN member and played a leading role in the successful campaign to secure cross-party backing for the UK’s net zero emissions goal, which was made law in June 2019.
Business Green 29th July 2019 read more »
Boris Johnson pledged to place tackling climate change at the “absolute core” of the Government’s actions during his first appearance in the House of Commons as Prime Minister.
Edie 29th July 2019 read more »
The Labour leadership will be pushed to adopt a more hardline position on dealing with climate change during its autumn conference, after a flood of constituency motions calling for a 2030 “zero carbon” position. More than 50 constituency Labour parties (CLPs) have signed a petition from a group called Labour for a Green New Deal calling for the emissions target. One of Theresa May’s last initiatives as prime minister was to commit Britain to a 2050 target for reducing net emissions to zero, as called for by the official Committee on Climate Change. Labour’s current policy also commits to a 2050 target for zero net emissions. However, environmental activists Extinction Rebellion, a group which held high-profile protests in London in April, are ramping up the pressure on governments to act more quickly and calling for a 2025 net zero target. A tougher emissions target, if adopted by a future Labour government, would have significant consequences for many industries and for Britain’s transport system. Net zero means that any greenhouse gas emissions would be balanced by schemes to offset carbon from the atmosphere, such as planting trees or using carbon capture and storage schemes. With over 50 constituencies signing the motion it is almost certain to be debated at the party’s annual conference in September. Momentum, the leftwing activist group, has been using phonebanks to encourage members to back the zero-carbon motion – along with other petitions for a four-day week and an end to migrant detention centres. The environmental campaigners are likely to face a backlash from some union officials who fear the 2030 zero-carbon target could cost jobs in some heavy industries.
FT 30th July 2019 read more »