Government climate record condemned by scientists

Thursday 21st November 2019 | Jake

Scientists and former government advisers on the climate alike have criticised the Conservative party’s record on the climate crisis. Boris Johnson and the Tories have been keen to promote their green credentials ahead of December’s general election, but their record has recently been called into question by numerous leading figures.

Experts argue that by mirroring US policy, Tories have weakened environmental protection. The scientist David King, a former government adviser on the climate crisis, warned Boris Johnson couldn’t be trusted on environmental issues. He told the Guardian: “The government has completely taken its eye off delivery [of environmental protection policy] and it has not been as consistent as it needed to be.”

Fellow ex-senior adviser in the Conservative party Tom Burke was even more critical. “The current government has systematically weakened the capacity of this country to manage its environment.” Burke, who was a senior adviser to three Tory environment secretaries, pointed towards the hypocrisy in the Tories environmental credentials. “They have completely cut the budgets of the Environment Agency and Natural England and they have systematically reduced their independence.”

Furthermore, analysis by the government’s own climate change committee shows the Tory’s carbon reduction aims are increasingly unlikely to be achieved by their own policies. According to the committee the Tories will fail to meet greenhouse gas emission reductions from 2023 onwards. It will also miss targets and legal obligations on water quality and levels of air pollution. The renewable energy industry is also being let down, Greenpeace analysis suggests they will miss onshore and offshore targets to expand the sector.

Conservative MPs are, according to research by the Guardian, five times more likely to vote against action protecting the environment than MPs from other parties.