Which Candidates Support Net Zero Goals In The Tory Leadership Race?

Which Candidates Support Net Zero Goals In The Tory Leadership Race?

Since many Tory leadership candidates expressed doubt about the 2050 aim or made no mention of it at all, environmentalists have warned that the new prime minister might derail net zero goals.

Green Conservative MPs Zac Goldsmith and Chris Skidmore stated this week in the Telegraph that abandoning net zero would be “electoral suicide” given the forecast for temperatures over 40C in the UK.

Leo Murray, director of innovation at climate charity Possible, stated that “all of the candidates that have come forward so far have shown a worrying lack of recognition on the matter and where it has been recognized, this has only been in reference to its de-prioritization as a policy goal.” Environmental charities have also expressed concern about the possibility that green policies will be abandoned.

Johnson’s environmental record was mixed, however, he was the PM during COP26 in November and oversaw some important green laws, such as the net zero roadmaps.

Here is a look at each of the 11 candidates who are now vying for the presidency, their record on green measures, and what their election would imply for the environment.

Mr. Kemi Badenoch

Kemi Badenoch, an MP for Saffron Walden in Essex, has persistently opposed legislation to combat climate change, according to her voting history on TheyWorkforYou.

This includes voting against a requirement that ministers take the 2050 net zero objectives into account when creating policies and against a request for the government to completely remove the bulk of transportation-related emissions by 2030.

It was “wrong of us to set a target without having a clear idea of the cost and knowing what it would entail,” Badenoch said in a recent interview with the Telegraph. She added that she was “not someone who doesn’t believe in climate change.”

“Setting such an arbitrary aim is the incorrect course of action… There is a better way to approach these issues, she claimed. She hasn’t yet provided any details on her ideas for a “better way”.

Suella Braverman

Another contender who has expressed questions about the UK’s leading net zero policy is Attorney General Suella Braverman.

Braverman started her leadership candidacy over the weekend despite calling climate change “one of the most significant problems that this country and the globe faces.” She said: “In order to cope with the energy crisis we need to pause the all-consuming drive to attain net zero by 2050.”

“If we continue down this path, especially before households and companies have had a chance to react, our economy will see net zero growth.”

The MP who formed the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, Steve Baker, has also backed Braverman, who previously used her position as attorney general to take action against climate demonstrators like Insulate Britain.

Additionally, the MP has persistently opposed legislation aimed at addressing climate change.

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt, former health and foreign secretary, has publicly stated his support for environmental measures and cited the organization of COP26 in Glasgow as one of his proudest accomplishments.

He has voted against earlier efforts to halt the production of fossil fuels in his district and has supported efforts to do so. If he is elected prime minister, he has declared that he will uphold the 2050 commitment.

 Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid has generally publicly supported climate initiatives, and he called last year for a new international financial organization to set a “priced on nature of the resources we use” by valuing carbon and biodiversity.

He claimed that the net zero targets were “ambitious” but “the appropriate one” in a 2019 HuffPost article. When questioned over the weekend about keeping the vow, he replied that he would, but added that the expense should be kept to a minimum.

Penny Mordaunt

In terms of climate change, Penny Mordaunt has a mixed record. She has previously backed tidal power and openly identified climate change as a significant concern for the international community.

But according to an article from The Byline Times from last year, Terence Mordaunt, a well-known opponent of accepted climate change research, earned £10,000 from a company controlled by him.

Whether the two are connected to one another is the subject of conflicting information.

Along with other Tory MPs, Penny Mordaunt has consistently voted against measures to combat climate change.

However, she implied that she supported the 2050 target when she claimed that the move to net zero will result in “up to three million green employment” by 2030.

Grant Shapps

Shapps, the secretary of transportation, has admitted that the net zero aim requires decarbonization of transportation.

He pledged in 2021 to review the highways policy in order to make road construction more environmentally friendly, but he has come under fire for not stopping projects until the review was finished.

Grant Shapps has sharply criticized environmental activists like Insulate Britain and referred to them as “anarchists.”

Shapps was featured in a video on enhancing transportation to meet net-zero goals the day before Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak’s resignations led to the collapse of the cabinet. However, he does not emphasize it in his leadership message.

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak was frequently credited with opposing green policy when serving as chancellor under Boris Johnson, citing the cost to the public and the Treasury.

While serving in the position, he did support initiatives that would have required banks and other businesses to report their greenhouse gas emissions.

His position on net zero and the climate catastrophe is not yet known since he is scheduled to announce his leadership bid on Tuesday.

Liz Truss

Although Liz Truss hasn’t publicly criticized net zero, she hasn’t said much about it in her capacity as foreign secretary, and she barely showed up at COP26 in November.

From 2014 to 2016, Truss served as the environment secretary. In that capacity, she criticized solar energy on agricultural land as endangering global food security.

Tom Tugendhat

Tom Tugendhat, a former British army officer, has expressed support for rewilding and has spoken out against climate change, saying in January 2020 that it is “one of the greatest issues we have and I completely realize the urgency in our need to tackle it.”

Tugendhat, however, made no mention of environmental measures or climate change in the leadership campaign he outlined in the Daily Telegraph over the previous few days. His bid for the presidency is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

Nadhim Zahawi

In an effort to combat climate change, Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, has added a natural history GCSE to the curriculum in addition to other initiatives to enhance environmental education.

However, Zahawi has a history of voting against climate change legislation. From 2015 to 2017, he also served as an executive in the oil business.

In his leadership speech, he pledged to uphold the 2050 net zero promise but added that it shouldn’t impede economic expansion or have an effect on households.

Rehman Chishti

Rehman Chishti, a relatively unknown contender for the Tory leadership, doesn’t have a particularly impressive track record when it comes to environmental concerns.

Generally speaking, he has joined other Conservative MPs in voting opposing policies to address climate change.

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