Labour condemns Johnson’s failure on climate deadline – and hiring of fracking lobbyist to write manifesto

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PM has hired fracking promoter to write Tory general election manifesto

Boris Johnson has failed to meet a key deadline to tackle the climate and environment emergency.

“The Prime Minister has also hired a fracking lobbyist to write the Conservative manifesto”

A press release issued by the Labour Party condemns the failure by Johnson and his government to respond adequately to one of the most pressing crises facing this country and our planet:

Today the government has failed to bring urgent plans to meet the climate and environment emergency within the six month deadline set by parliament.

The climate and emergency motion passed by parliament on 1 May this year “calls on the Government to lay before the House within the next six months urgent proposals to restore the UK’s natural environment and to deliver a circular, zero waste economy.”

Since parliament’s declaration of a climate and environment emergency the Conservative government has failed to pursue policies adequate to the scale of the crisis.

In the six months since the declaration of a climate and environment emergency, the Tories have continued to pursue policies that are damaging to the natural environment in the UK and abroad. These include:
· Maintaining the ban on onshore wind while forcing through dangerous fracking that will scar our environment;
· Pursuing local government cuts that have seen record amounts of litter on our streets while prosecutions for fly-tipping are at a ten year low;
· Creating a “hostile environment” for renewables, leading to clean energy investment plummeting in the last three years;
· Proceeding with cuts to Natural England that have seen its core budget cut in half since 2010, with devastating consequences for our environment;
· Continuing to use UK Export Finance to subsidise fracking and fossil fuel extraction abroad.

The Prime Minister has also hired a fracking lobbyist to write the Conservative manifesto.

Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman said:

By ignoring the climate and environment emergency, Boris Johnson has shown that he cannot be trusted to save our planet.

This election is our last chance to stop the climate and environment emergency.

The next Labour government will usher in a Green Industrial Revolution to tackle climate change. Labour has a radical, credible plan for tackling the climate crisis and creating a million good, unionised green jobs across the country.

The climate and environment emergency motion tabled by the Labour party and passed by the House of Commons on 1 May was as follows:

That this House declares an environment and climate emergency following the finding of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change that to avoid a more than 1.5°C rise in global warming, global emissions would need to fall by around 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero by around 2050; recognises the devastating impact that volatile and extreme weather will have on UK food production, water availability, public health and through flooding and wildfire damage; notes that the UK is currently missing almost all of its biodiversity targets, with an alarming trend in species decline, and that cuts of 50 per cent to the funding of Natural England are counterproductive to tackling those problems; calls on the Government to increase the ambition of the UK’s climate change targets under the Climate Change Act 2008 to achieve net zero emissions before 2050, to increase support for and set ambitious, short-term targets for the roll-out of renewable and low carbon energy and transport, and to move swiftly to capture economic opportunities and green jobs in the low carbon economy while managing risks for workers and communities currently reliant on carbon intensive sectors; and further calls on the Government to lay before the House within the next six months urgent proposals to restore the UK’s natural environment and to deliver a circular, zero waste economy.

At the end of that debate, Hayman emphasised in a point of order that the government must bring forward a cross departmental plan within six months:

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am proud to be part of a Parliament that has passed a motion declaring a climate and environment emergency. However, I want to draw attention to the fact that the motion included a certain set of actions for the Government to carry out. It calls on the Government

“to increase the ambition of the UK’s climate change targets under the Climate Change Act 2008 to achieve net zero emissions before 2050, to increase support for and set ambitious, short-term targets for the roll-out of renewable and low carbon energy and transport, and to move swiftly to capture economic opportunities and green jobs in the low carbon economy while managing risks for workers and communities currently reliant on carbon intensive sectors; and further calls on the Government to lay before the House within the next six months urgent proposals to restore the UK’s natural environment and to deliver a circular, zero waste economy.”

Mr Speaker, may I ask what parliamentary levers are available to this House to ensure that such action is taken?

Hayman raised the 1 November deadline last week during the Queen’s Speech debate.

Boris Johnson has hired fracking lobbyist Rachel Wolf to help draft the Conservative election manifesto.

An Environment Bill loophole leaves nature targets in 18-year lag, while the Director of Natural England has warned of the dramatic impact government cuts to the agency are having on the environment.

SKWAWKBOX view:

Never trust a Tory with the environment, either.

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