UK climate chief could quit amid divisiveness over target – Newspaper

LONDON: Britain’s climate minister has indicated he may quit as some Tory leadership candidates waver over the government’s net zero target, ahead of a close televised debate and final rounds of MP ballots this week.

COP26 President Alok Sharma’s intervention came as a poll of grassroots conservative members, who will have the final say on the two finalists, gave underdog Kemi Badenoch a surprise double-digit lead. .

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss finished second, narrowly ahead of former grassroots favorite Penny Mordaunt and ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak, according to the unscientific poll by the ConservativeHome website.

Badenoch, a former deputy minister with no ministerial experience, runs on a right-wing ‘anti-awakening’ platform and says net zero amounts to ‘unilateral economic disarmament’ by Britain.

The ‘green levy’, backed by Sunak to help pay for the legally enshrined target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, has also been questioned by Truss and Mordaunt as Britons grapple with a cost of living crisis.

But with Britain facing record high temperatures this week, Sharma told the Observer newspaper on Sunday the target was ‘absolutely a matter of leadership’, as the candidates wage an acrimonious battle to succeed the scandal-ridden Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“Anyone who aspires to lead our country must demonstrate that they take this issue extremely seriously, that they are ready to continue to lead and take up the torch that Boris Johnson started,” the minister said. When asked if he could resign if candidates showed weakness on net zero, Sharma replied, “Let’s see, shall we? I think we have to see where the candidates are.

And we have to see who really ends up in number 10 (Downing Street) Under President Sharma, almost 200 countries pledged at a UN summit in Glasgow last November to step up the fight against rising temperatures, after two weeks of marathon negotiations.

Posted in Dawn, July 18, 2022