No Philip Hammond, there’s no time to delay our climate plans

Climate change doesn't stop while the Tory Party sorts itself out.

Thanks to pressure from environmentalists like Extinction Rebellion and all the school climate strikers, the UK government has set a relatively ambitious climate change target.

It has committed to reaching net zero, the point where we’re not putting out more pollution than we’re taking in, by 2050.

Is that ambitious enough? Probably not. Extinction Rebellion have called it a “death sentence” and the Greens and Momentum want a more ambitious target.

Nevertheless, it’s better than most countries and it’s progress. The previous target was just to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The problem is though that government policies mean we’re not on track to meet their previous target, let alone net zero by 2050.

Ambitions are all well and good and are a necessary first step – but if they don’t lead to action then they’re pointless.

One minister who seems particularly opposed to either ambition or action is the chancellor Philip Hammond.

First, he claimed that tackling the climate crisis would cost £1trillion – a figure which ignores all the benefits of tackling the climate crisis: jobs, better health, species survival and the avoidance of millions of deaths.

Now, he is reported to be blocking proposals to tackle the climate crisis because he wants to wait for the new prime minister to be in place.

This is bad for two reasons. First, because the next prime minister is likely to be Boris Johnson – a man whose green credentials are highly suspect.

The government’s former chief scientist has warned he fears for the UK’s climate plans if Johnson is elected.

Secondly, it’s bad because, when tackling a crisis like this, every second counts.

Climate change doesn’t stop while the Tory Party sorts itself out – so our plans for the climate crisis shouldn’t stop either.

Hammond has earned himself the nickname ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ but what exactly is on his spreadsheet?

If he doesn’t include the human and economic costs of climate change and the benefits of tackling the crisis, then his spreadsheets are worse than useless.

Joe Lo is a reporter for Left Foot Forward

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One Response to “No Philip Hammond, there’s no time to delay our climate plans”

  1. Patrick Newman

    I expect Johnson to be Trump like in a capricious approach to climate change – possibly calculated denial but I doubt if Parliament will just fall in line and may well take the initiative. There is no getting away from the issue and Hammond is another denier – in figures. The Stern Report ( showed that unchecked climate change will demand increasingly frequent and costly measures just to adapt and correct the effects of climate change on the environment, health and agriculture. There is not a choice to spend on combating climate change or not spend on climate change.

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