UK Climate Adviser Criticizes Rishi Sunak’s Impact on Net Zero Goals

UK Climate Adviser Criticizes Rishi Sunak's Impact on Net Zero Goals
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London (Parliament News) – UK Climate Adviser Chris Stark criticizes PM Rishi Sunak for setbacks in net zero goals, citing a lack of commitment to climate priorities. Sunak’s policies drew scrutiny and concern.

PM Rishi Sunak has given up the UK’s reputation as a world authority in the fight against the climate situation and has “set us back” by failing to prioritise the problem in the way his predecessors in No 10 did, the government’s green adviser has cautioned.

According to the Guardian, Chris Stark, the outgoing head of the Climate Change Committee (CCC), stated that the prime minister had “clearly not” supported the issue following a high-profile speech last year in which he gave a significant U-turn on the government’s climate commitments. The objection comes after Sunak was blamed for trying to avoid scrutiny of the UK’s climate policies by failing to specify a new chair of the CCC.

Did Sunak’s Policies Set Back Climate Goals?

Sunak reported last autumn that he was moving back the prohibition on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by five years, as an element of a wider dilution of climate policies. At the time, the Tories were seeking to create a dividing line with Labour after their success in the Uxbridge byelection, which largely came as a result of their objection to London’s ultra-low emission zone.

“It was presented to the country as a step back from going too fast on this transition,” Stark informed the BBC. “In the speech itself, he talked a lot about the demand to reappraise lots of the steps that take us to net zero. I think it set us back. I think we have shifted from a position where we were really at the vanguard, pushing ahead as quickly as we could on something that I believe to be essential to the UK economy, fundamentally valuable to the people living in this country, whether you oversee about the climate or not.”

Are Sunak’s Actions Undermining Climate Ambitions?

Stark expressed significant progress had been made towards net zero and applauded Theresa May and Boris Johnson for their dedication to the target. However, he said Sunak had failed to show the same ambition.

“We are now in a standing where we’re actually trying to recover ground,” he stated. “The diplomatic impact of that has been tremendous. It doesn’t matter that there were detailed policies within that pace that you could say were very much in line with net zero. The overall message that other parts of the world took from it is that the UK is less enterprising on climate than it once was, and that is extremely hard to recover.”

Is Sunak’s Approach Compatible with Net Zero?

A government spokesperson stated: “We are the first major economy to split greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 and have set into law one of the most ambitious 2035 climate change targets of any significant economy. But we need to achieve  our net zero goals in a sustainable way.”

Daniele Naddei

Daniele Naddei is a journalist at Parliament News covering European affairs, was born in Naples on April 8, 1991. He also serves as the Director of the CentroSud24 newspaper. During the period from 2010 to 2013, Naddei completed an internship at the esteemed local radio station Radio Club 91. Subsequently, he became the author of a weekly magazine published by the Italian Volleyball Federation of Campania (FIPAV Campania), which led to his registration in the professional order of Journalists of Campania in early 2014, listed under publicists. From 2013 to 2018, he worked as a freelance photojournalist and cameraman for external services for Rai and various local entities, including TeleCapri, CapriEvent, and TLA. Additionally, between 2014 and 2017, Naddei collaborated full-time with various newspapers in Campania, both in print and online. During this period, he also resumed his role as Editor-in-Chief at Radio Club 91.
Naddei is actively involved as a press officer for several companies and is responsible for editing cultural and social events in the city through his association with the Medea Fattoria Sociale. This experience continued until 2021. Throughout these years, he hosted or collaborated on football sports programs for various local broadcasters, including TLA, TvLuna, TeleCapri, Radio Stonata, Radio Amore, and Radio Antenna Uno.
From 2016 to 2018, Naddei was employed as an editor at newspapers of national interest within the circuit, including Internazionale24, Salute24, and OggiScuola. Since 2019, Naddei has been one of the creators of the Rabona television program "Calcio è Passione," which has been broadcast on TeleCapri Sport since 2023.