• Thursday, May 30, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Climate watchdog chief criticises Sunak’s ‘backward’ steps

Despite facing pressure to address cost-of-living concerns and political opposition, Sunak defends his approach as pragmatic, saying that there is a need to maintain public support while still aiming to achieve the country’s net zero target by 2050.

Sunak’s decisions, particularly regarding measures aimed at achieving net zero emissions, have drawn criticism from environmental activists. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

The head of the government’s advisory body on climate change, Chris Stark, has expressed concerns that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s actions are setting Britain back in its efforts to tackle climate change.

Stark, who is set to step down as chief executive of the independent Climate Change Committee, highlighted that UK climate policy has become less ambitious, which he views as a setback.

In an interview excerpt with the BBC, Stark emphasised the difficulty of recovering from such a setback, indicating his belief that the nation’s progress has been hindered. “That is extremely hard to recover,” Stark said. “I think it’s set us back.”

Sunak’s decisions, particularly regarding measures aimed at achieving net zero emissions, have drawn criticism from environmental activists.

Despite facing pressure to address cost-of-living concerns and political opposition, Sunak defends his approach as pragmatic, saying that there is a need to maintain public support while still aiming to achieve the country’s net zero target by 2050.

Stark, who will assume the role of chief executive at the Carbon Trust later this year, stressed the necessity for more comprehensive action in areas such as heating homes, managing industrial emissions, and transforming farming and transportation systems.

“I definitely feel we’re at risk,” Stark said, expressing his concerns about the current trajectory.

In response to Stark’s comments, a government spokesperson reiterated Britain’s achievements in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and highlighted its ambitious climate targets.

“But we need to reach our net zero goals in a sustainable way so we have taken action to protect our energy security, ease the burdens on hard-working people and provide transparency about the choices involved so that we bring people with us in meeting our climate targets,” the spokesperson said.

(Reuters)

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