Britain Could Ditch Climate Change Role, Environmentalists Fear

  • Date: 09/06/17
  • The Independent

While the UK has been a global leader in the fight against climate change, it has shown signs of faltering in its commitments since the Brexit referendum.

And the added political turmoil caused by an indecisive general election now risks a dangerous drift on the issue of our age, just as scientists are warning that time is starting to run out (sic) to prevent the worst effects of global warming.

Under Theresa May, the Government adopted ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions but then delayed publication of the legally required plan to achieve them, prompting ClientEarth – a group of activist lawyers who are taking ministers to court for a third time to force them to improve their latest attempt at an Air Quality Plan that abides by the law – to threaten to sue.

The deal between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party, which together would command a slim majority, will enable Ms May to stay in Downing Street for now, but the uneasy political alliance could easily collapse, potentially causing a fresh election. The DUP is a party that once appointed an environment minister who does not believe humans are responsible for climate change and fresh election would see further drift.

Ms May was reportedly insisting she would not stand down but looks unlikely to last, given her disastrous decision to call the election, lacklustre performance during the campaign and the Tories’ history of ruthlessness with failure.

Her potential replacements include people with strong track records on taking climate science seriously and others set in the Donald Trump mould.

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