The general election might have been dominated by Brexit, but with the imminence of the climate crisis more apparent than ever, climate campaigners are ready to hold Boris Johnson accountable as the UK begins it’s journey to net-zero.
In their manifesto, the Conservative Party pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, with plans to invest in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions.
Speaking earlier this morning, Boris Johnson said: ‘Colossal new investments in infrastructure, in science, using our incredible technological advantages to make this country the cleanest, greenest on earth with the most far-reaching environmental programme.
‘And you the people of this country voted to be carbon neutral by 2050 and we will do it.’
However, there remains a degree of scepticism on the Conservative Party’s commitment to climate action, due in part to their far-reaching 2050 net-zero goals and the fact that Boris Johnson did not attend the first-ever television election debate devoted to climate change.
CEO of RenewablesUK Hugh McNeal commented: ‘We look forward to working with the new Government to grow the UK’s renewable energy sector and deliver on the commitments to 40GW of offshore wind by 2030.
‘The voters have sent a clear signal that climate action must be a top priority, and the eyes of the world will be on the UK this year as we host the UN global climate summit, so this Government must take urgent action to get the UK on track for net zero.’
Greenpeace UK’s head of politics, Rebecca Newsom, 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.
‘While the Conservative Party has started to recognise the environmental challenges ahead their plans are still full of holes.
‘From the party’s continued support for polluting infrastructure, their failure to guarantee a trade policy that protects environmental and human rights, and their weak protections against overfishing and destructive agriculture, the new government has a huge way to go in recognising the scale of action required and the transformative policy needed to deliver it.
‘The weight of responsibility and growing public concern now rests on Boris Johnsons’s shoulders to ensure the UK rises to the challenge, fights for climate justice, and shows real leadership.’
Dave Timms, head of political affairs at Friends of the Earth, said: ‘In an election largely determined by Brexit, climate change received unprecedented attention.
‘The five warmest years on record happened in the last ten years.
‘Wildfires, floods and the devastating effects of climate breakdown are already harming communities here and abroad and yet action on climate change is flatlining and the UK is set to miss even the existing emissions reduction targets.
‘The absence of environmental policy indicates that this government must be made to respond to the challenge and scale of the climate emergency and campaigners have recommitted to their efforts to hold the government to account.
‘Friends of the Earth successfully secured pledges from over 1,200 parliamentary candidates to make the climate crisis a deal-breaker in how they vote in parliament.
‘This means we now have nearly 100 elected MPs who have already pledged to make climate a priority, and we need even more of their colleagues to now do the same.’
Environment Journal tried to get in touch with DEFRA but they were not able to provide a comment.
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