‘He’s a believer’: Will Sunak rebuild a green agenda riven by Truss? | green politics

The fact that some environmental groups and Green Tory MPs welcome the prospect Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister It may appear to what extent Overton window It has shifted in recent weeks.

Sunak has never been considered a fully registered member of green agendaAnd even allies admit that he saw “the costs, not the benefits” of environmental work while working as a consultant. But just over a month into the Liz Truss government, many see Sunak’s premiership as a welcome relief.

Under Truss, it was years of good relations with groups such as the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and the National Trust brokenIt was provoked by infighting Insist on crackingAnd her first actions in power included trying to do so Solar generation banned from most farmland in England weakening environmental protections in the retained EU bill, investment areas Back to the environment friendly Agriculture Payment Scheme.

“Sunak said he wanted to stick with the 2019 statement, which was so good at these things, that Liz Truss wanted to get rid of it,” said Sean Spires, executive director of the Center for Environmental Research Green Alliance.

Spiers hopes a new government can mend ties with green groups: ‘We need a Secretary of State on the run [the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] Who can claim respect – perhaps George Eustis or Tracy Crouch. After five years of really good relations between the environment groups and Devra got rid of in six weeks, it would be nice if he could rebuild.”

The Green Conservative Party also endorsed Sunak. Philip Dunn, chair of Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee, is a relative environmentalist who has set his colleagues’ feet on fire On the disposal of sewage In the waterways of England.

He thinks Sunak listened to his greener colleagues: “In the summers, when there were a lot of candidates, we had a conservative environmental net for each of them and they all did their eco-schemes. He was outspoken in saying he’s a believer in net zero Britain, and he’s had A specific proposal to insulate homes more quickly and is very robust in nature.

“I’m convinced it’s part of the broad consensus in the Conservative Party that we need to leave the environment in better shape than we have left.”

Rishi Sunak on a farm near Winchester in July.
Sunak is “really doing in agriculture,” says a Conservative MP. Photo: Reuters

The former chancellor’s environmental colleagues are asking him to show his commitment to the cause by getting rid of, or at least reformulating, the EU law retained by Jacob Rees-Mogg, which would Remove hundreds of environmental protection laws.

“The EU law issue is potentially hugely damaging, and I’m sure he will look at it very carefully,” Dunn said.

Those who served under Boris Johnson and believe in environmental measures in the 2019 manifesto believe that Sunak will deliver on the promises it made in it.

Rebecca Bow, a former environment minister who resigned after Partigate, said: “I’ve always known that Richie fully understands the issue… He supported his findings. Dasgupta review [on the economics of biodiversity] Then he tasked us with more work to find out exactly our natural origins.

“He was also the person at Cop26 who committed to making us the green finance center in the world… if he becomes prime minister. [banks and businesses] He will be sure that all the actions of the environment that we have just experienced will go forward.”

A former minister, who asked not to be named, said: “The 2019 statement will be widely followed and will keep Elms [the nature-friendly farming subsidies]closer to Johnson’s system than to Truss.”

This may be a low hurdle for the PM but many say Sunak is listening to experts and following the evidence. “I think his whole approach will be less ideological and has a great ability to pick up and understand complex details quickly,” the former minister said.

Victoria Prentice, who was Devra’s agriculture minister under Johnson and is now Secretary of Work and Pensions, said Sunak had been listening to those passionate about the environment, including his daughters, and that he was “really getting farming”.

But Sunak has certainly never been a passionate environmentalist. He had always voted in line with his party on the environment — that is, largely against measures to prevent climate collapse — and it wasn’t something he felt strong enough about to rebel against. However, he voted for more regulations on hydraulic fracturing in 2015.

Craig Bennett, chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts, hopes that environmental groups will have a better relationship with Sunak than they have with Truss. “So early on, Liz Truss launched this attack on nature—we’ll have to see what. Rishi Sunak But he seems to be more open to evidence, reason and logic.

There was a glimmer of hope on Monday afternoon when Sunak made the environment a major undertaking in his country Speech to Tory MPs. With climate and cost-of-living activists occupying Parliament, he said he would achieve net zero carbon emissions, adding that his government would be an “environmentally focused government”.

But Truss has created a lot of work for Sunak to regain whatever green credentials the Conservative Party once had.

Bennett said: “The first thing he should do is tear up the repeal of the retained EU bill which, of course, threatens at least 570 pieces of environmental legislation. Second, he should scrap his own proposals. investment areas They are a polluters charter that sets a race down for towns and cities in the UK, a competition for who could have the worst environmental standards.

Third, it should deliver agricultural transformation as promised in the 2019 manifesto, and generously reward farmers for their service to nature. He should also reimpose the ban on hydraulic fracturing because it is a complete lie that he will do anything for energy security. Instead, it should unleash investment for segregation in the UK.”

Another concern is that Sunak has the support of skeptical lawmakers on climate action, including Kimi Badenouch, who has The net goal is called zero “Unilateral economic disarmament,” Steve Baker, founder of the organization Net Zero Scrutiny مجموعة Conservative MPs.

And when Baker was asked if Sunak would be good for the environment as prime minister, he said brilliantly: “It would be great.” everything. “

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