Lack of leadership and legislation over climate and environment

Having lunch with friends this weekend, it was hardly surprising that the topic of climate change and the environment came up in conversation. It was interesting to hear someone mention, many small businesses are clearly eager to reduce their carbon footprint but are asking “… but what are we supposed to do?”
I have to say I felt concerned, but not surprised given the unbelievable lack of leadership and action taken by our government in spite of frequent claims to be taking climate change seriously.
As leaders from governments around the world gather in Egypt this week to track progress across the globe in slowing down global warming and climate change we will no doubt hear scientists emphasising the need for a greater sense of urgency. The death toll continues to rise as a consequence of extreme weather conditions, there can be no doubt we need to be doing more than simply listening to what they have to say.
We actually need to show a lot more commitment and action. The dithering of our most recent PM over whether or not to attend the COP 27 Climate Summit says it all. Talk is cheap but actually effecting change requires investment and action – in other words leadership.
So let’s consider some of the indicators of the UK commitment to achieving our crucial net zero target by 2030.
• “Nearly half of all the UK’s offshore wind capacity is owned by state-owned or majority state-owned foreign entities.”
(Sky News 26.09.22)
• Shell was allowed to get away without paying any tax on their record profits from the sale of fossil fuel by virtue of committing to investment in developing a capacity to produce even more fossil fuel closer to home.
• “Substantial evidence obtained by the BBC, which shows that Drax is cutting down carbon-rich forests while receiving billions in green energy subsidies.” (Energy News Live 07.10.22)
Thérèse Coffey was appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 25 October 2022. One her first acts in her new role was to announce that the government plan to publish legally binding targets for air quality, water health, nature and waste management on October 31 were to be delayed, but gave no new date for publication.
No targets, no guidance, no action. There is a desperate need for stronger leadership, and there is a pattern here, which if is allowed to continue, will inevitably accelerate further deterioration in our environment.

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