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Boris Johnson abandons Carrie-inspired green push

Daily Mail|David Wilcock|June 12, 2022
United Kingdom (UK)Energy PolicyJobs and Economy

Mr Johnson has faced increasing organised Tory opposition to his multi-billion-pound green energy plans amid a deepening cost of living crisis. The Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG) of backbenchers warned in February his plans to slash the UK's carbon output by 2050 are misplaced at a time when so many face a struggle with their energy bills. Gas prices have fuelled huge increases in costs for families, exacerbated by inflation and a hike to National Insurance contributions introduced in April.


Set to water down COP26-inspired Net Zero target in favour of UK self-sufficiency amid cost-of-living crisis

  • Less than a year ago the PM hosted UN Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow 
  • His wife Carrie is a noted green activist and is said to have helped drive  agenda 
  • But he is preparing to water down plans in the face of soaring bills for millions 

Boris Johnson is prepared to ditch green policies inspired by his environmental activist wife Carrie in the wake of the cost-of-living crisis.

Less than a year ago the PM hosted the UN Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow and urged the world to do a deal to reduce the impact of climate change.

He has also championed the UK becoming Net Zero in terms of emissions by 2050, under a swing to green advocacy said to have been driven by his third wife, a noted campaigner.

But today he is said to be preparing to water down the plans. Faced by soaring fuel and power bills for millions, and the rising cost of food, he is said to be jettisoning some of the moves ... more [truncated due to possible copyright]

     

Set to water down COP26-inspired Net Zero target in favour of UK self-sufficiency amid cost-of-living crisis

  • Less than a year ago the PM hosted UN Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow 
  • His wife Carrie is a noted green activist and is said to have helped drive  agenda 
  • But he is preparing to water down plans in the face of soaring bills for millions 

Boris Johnson is prepared to ditch green policies inspired by his environmental activist wife Carrie in the wake of the cost-of-living crisis.

Less than a year ago the PM hosted the UN Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow and urged the world to do a deal to reduce the impact of climate change.

He has also championed the UK becoming Net Zero in terms of emissions by 2050, under a swing to green advocacy said to have been driven by his third wife, a noted campaigner.

But today he is said to be preparing to water down the plans. Faced by soaring fuel and power bills for millions, and the rising cost of food, he is said to be jettisoning some of the moves he backed months ago.

His own weakened position after last week's confidence vote in his leadership, which saw 148 of his own MPs demand he quit, gives him less power to see off a powerful group of backbench MP who are against the plans.

Among the plans said to be watered down are a fund to pay farmers for 'rewilding' areas of land, which has been reduced from £800million to £50million.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove announced in 2019 that Leon founder Henry Dimbleby was to lead a review into England's food system to ensure it is 'safe, healthy and affordable' for all.

The review also aimed to investigate how the food system could help restore and enhance the natural environment, build a resilient and sustainable agriculture sector and contribute to urban and rural economies.

In his final report, published in 2021, Mr Dimbleby called on ministers to make sure the budget for payments for farmers to deliver environmental benefits - such as restoring nature, preventing floods and improving soils - was guaranteed until at least 2029.

But this appeared to have been ignored in the draft White Paper, with the Government instead repeating a pledge to maintain funding levels during the current parliament.

It came as the PM faced the fury of farmers over his post-Brexit food policies.  

President of the National Farmers Union, Minette Batters, told The Observer she met with the Prime Minister on Friday and told him farmers were furious with post-Brexit policies they said left them at a disadvantage against foreign producers.

She said they included farmers in Tiverton and Honiton, where an important byelection is scheduled for June 23.

'We want to be eating more British and more local food but again I just ask how,' she told the paper.

'It's all very well to have words but it's got to have really meaningful delivery and we aren't seeing that yet in this document.'

Mr Johnson has faced increasing organised Tory opposition to his multi-billion-pound green energy plans amid a deepening cost of living crisis.

The Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG) of backbenchers warned in February his plans to slash the UK's carbon output by 2050 are misplaced at a time when so many face a struggle with their energy bills.

Gas prices have fuelled huge increases in costs for families, exacerbated by inflation and a hike to National Insurance contributions introduced in April.

The Prime Minister's Net Zero plans are seen by many backbenchers as a sop to his wife Carrie, a noted environmental campaigner. She is a close friend of Zac Goldsmith, a foreign office minister who is also a campaigner on green issues.

But a new team in No10 brought in after the Partygate fiasco is less green and is steering the PM away from their influence, the Sunday Times reported. A source close to the PM's chief of staff, Steve Barclay, told the paper: 'As we're tackling the cost-of-living crisis, ministers are looking at where efficiencies can be made to deliver value for money.'

However other sources branded the former minister, and adviser David Canzini, 'useful idiots' for the farming lobby. 

A leaked draft of a food strategy due to be released on Monday has been branded 'half-baked' and 'flatter than a pancake' by campaigners, with particular concern over the apparent rejection of a proposal for tax on sugar and salt.

Ministers were accused of concocting a blueprint 'bordering on the preposterous', with the document suggesting they will shun key recommendations from a major review of the food system by Mr Dimbleby.

Ministers appear to be moving forward with some of Mr Dimbleby's proposals, including by consulting on mandatory food waste reporting for businesses of a certain size.

The Government has also agreed to trial a Community Eatwell programme, as announced in the Levelling Up White Paper, supporting those on low incomes to improve their diets.

The document said ministers would 'support progress on a wide range of issues, including alternative proteins', after the review urged the Government to 'nudge' consumers into changing their meat-eating habits.

But it suggested sustainable sources of protein do not have to 'displace traditional sectors'.

The paper said the Government would launch a call for evidence to better understand challenges in cutting methane emissions from farm animals such as cattle.

In his review, Mr Dimbleby had set a goal of reducing meat consumption by 30% over 10 years.

Louisa Casson, head of food and forests at Greenpeace UK, accused ministers of seemingly 'goading' UK farmers into producing more meat.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it did not comment on leaked documents, but a spokesperson added: 'We will be setting out the contents of our ambitious new food strategy in due course.'

Content truncated due to possible copyright. Use source link for full article.


Source:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/n…

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