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Home » Rishi Sunak’s green reversal is in stark contrast to previous prime ministers’ efforts

Rishi Sunak’s green reversal is in stark contrast to previous prime ministers’ efforts

Rishi Sunak's green reversal is in stark contrast to previous prime ministers' efforts

Rishi Sunak’s green reversal is in stark contrast to previous prime ministers’ efforts. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appeared to be hesitant about the “net zero by 2050” that Theresa May managed to get through Parliament with almost no protest in 2019.

Sunak is now talking about the government’s more “proportionate and pragmatic” climate policies. Also announced plans to issue at least 100 permits for new oil and gas projects in the North Sea.

The change comes at a time when UK holidaymakers are fleeing bushfires in Rhodes and Corfu. So many climate records are falling that it’s hard to keep up.

The Conservative Environmental Network, an independent forum for net zero conservatives and others including Greenpeace, is trying to strengthen its backbone. But Sunak seems to want to appease the “right-wing” people who oppose everything green. This location seems surprising. But from a historical perspective, the global will provide some context for the situation.

UK history

The UK’s modern environmental movement dates back to 1969 when then Prime Minister Harold Wilson gave his first speech to a party congress that mentioned ‘environment’. Visiting the United States the following year, Wilson proposed a new special relationship based on environmental protection.

Instead of decrying it, Conservative Opposition Leader Edward Heath accused Wilson of being too slow. When Heath became prime minister in 1970, he established a large environmental ministry.

As “environment” faded from the headlines due to the 1973 spike in oil prices, high inflation. Also other problems, neither the Conservative Party nor Labor turned back. In 1979, new Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher even mentioned the greenhouse effect while in Tokyo for the G7 conference.

However, Thatcher has criticized acid rain. This is of particular concern to Sweden, as sulfur from Britain’s coal-fired power plants is polluting its rivers and lakes. It was not until 1988, after persistent lobbying by scientists and diplomats, that this woman reached a turning point. His speech to the Royal Society (an association of eminent scientists) about the ‘experiment’ humanity is conducting by releasing too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is considered the starting point for modern climate policy.

Margaret Thatcher speaks

Thatcher’s speech to the Royal Society in 1988 is considered the starting point of modern climate policy. David Fowler/Shutterstock
Thanks to the transition from coal to gas in the 1990s and the relocation of industry, the UK has long been able to boast of reducing emissions and speak eloquently of sustainable development. steady. In 1997, Tony Blair said the UK would go further in cutting emissions than any target set at the UN’s Kyoto Conference, the first rich countries agreement to cut greenhouse gases. This drew some grumbling from conservatives.

In the late 2000s, there was fierce “competitive consensus” (where politicians try to outbid their opponents for votes and morals) around the passage of legislation that transforms climate. The new leader of the Conservative Party at the time, David Cameron, made a trip to the North Pole and is now saying “Please give us the bill”.

A few Tory MPs voted against the 2008 Climate Change Act, which stipulates an 80% cut in emissions by 2050 and imposes limits on the amount of greenhouse gases the UK has. discharged over a period of 5 years. When in power, Cameron supported fracking, opposed onshore wind, and abandoned climate policies in a counterproductive attempt to cut costs (allegedly ordering helpers to “clean up”) all the green trash”). But he didn’t, at least not directly attack the Climate Change Act. 

Rishi Sunak’s green reversal is in stark contrast to previous prime ministers’ efforts

After the 2015 Paris Agreement that the UK signed, it became clear that 80% would not be a sufficient target for the UK to meet its obligations to do its part to keep global warming at bay. bridge less than 2℃. And the pressure is growing for the goal of net zero emissions by 2050. It was one of Theresa May’s last acts and enthusiastically endorsed by all parties.

So what is wrong?

Politicians tend to prefer long, rounded goals like 2050. They shine without worrying about upsetting vested interest groups or asking ordinary people to change their behavior. I believe what we see now is a collision between what was promised and what had to be done immediately.

It is not unique to the UK. There have been, though brief, periods of bipartisan consensus on environmental issues in Australia and the United States.

But once in power, conservative governments tend to prioritize “free markets” over what they call socialist or boring environmental regulation. The main driver of climate denial and presenting ecological concerns as a “watermelon” (blue outside, red inside) has always been the United States.

Man wiping orange handprints on the door of an office building.

July 20, 2023. London, United Kingdom. Policy Exchange headquarters after being targeted by Just Stop Oil activists. amer ghazzal / Alamy Stock Photo
One way to see what’s happening within the UK’s Conservative Party right now is the same imported ‘culture war’ tactics that caused the UK to panic about unproven ‘voter registration’ last month. May 2023, now moving to climate policy. Rishi Sunak’s green reversal is in stark contrast to previous prime ministers’ efforts. This phenomenon is behind the recent Just Stop Oil action at Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank that helped draft controversial new laws to crack down on climate protesters.

The outcome of the recent by-election in Uxbridge, in which the Conservative Party’s narrow victory was fueled by anger over London’s ultra-low-emissions sector (the area where vehicle drivers are dirtiest means to pay a fee), perhaps stimulated the appetite of right-wing conservative strategists 카지노사이트