BusinessGreen understands that a number of Tory MPs from the modernising wing of the party, including energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd, sought assurances from May and her team that action on climate change and the wider environment would remain a priority. Such assurances were satisfactorily provided. May’s narrow focus on the Home Office for the past six years (one of the secrets of her success) may have meant her public record on the environment is close to non-existent, but she is known to have supported the Climate Change Act and has never really flirted with the climate-sceptic wing of the party. She is on record as once opposing Heathrow expansion and arguing that the Climate Change Act would boost UK security, health and economic competitiveness. There is no reason at this stage to fear a downgrading of the UK’s low-carbon ambition. The likelihood is that May will seek to continue with the current strategy of combining decarbonisation with measures to limit costs to consumers and enhance energy security. The strategy has had decidedly mixed results, driving record investment in some clean tech areas, while undermining spending in other key areas and contradictorily reining in energy efficiency and low-cost renewables investment. But a continuation of the current policy framework, especially with the promise of an ambitious fifth carbon budget and new measures to meet it, is a lot better than what would have been unleashed by the climate-sceptic government some feared would be delivered by a successful Brexit neo-con coup.
Business Green 11th July 2016 read more »