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Beware Greenwashing!

October 8, 2021 8:00 PM
Originally published by Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats

fvm9 (Photo by Appolinary Kalashnikova on Unsplash)Our Prime Minister loves a good slogan!

With the global climate conference in Glasgow only a month away he has another one . "Coal, cars cash and trees" Not as snappy as get Brexit done but it aims to summarise areas of focus for the conference.

So how is the UK actually doing on his agenda

Coal

The other thing our PM likes to do is throw out targets even if un-supported by actions. He did it again yesterday when he announced no coal generated electricity by 2035

However .Analysis of official figures show that total renewable capacity grew by just 2.1 per cent in the year to December 2020compared with an average annual rise of 18 per cent over the past decade - and an increase of 6.1 per cent in the year before. Its not just the impact of covid since the rate of growth of renewables, such as solar and wind power, has fallen every year since 2015.

Ed Davey, former energy secretary and leader of the Liberal Democrats - who carried out the analysis - said the figures were "a stain on the nation's green record".

"These figures show that the government's claims of global climate leadership are all bluster and no action, Under the Conservatives, the UK renewables industry has been neglected to the point where coal power stations are being fired up."

Cars

Recent data suggests the UK is towards the bottom of the league in Europe in terms of electric car market share see Newly registered electric cars by country - European Environment Agency (europa.eu). We may have a target to phase out new petrol sales by 2030 but a miracle needs to happen. Compare that to Norway where subsidies on new car sales have seen electric cars achieve 50% market share against our 1.5%

Cash

Boris Johnson has promised £11bn to help poorer countries adapt to the climate emergency but this will be paid for by deeper cuts to the UK's other overseas aid projects,

It appears to break a United Nations-brokered agreement that the cash must be "new and additional2" and reduces UK leverage in getting the rich world to meet the $100bn commitment to poorer countries made at the last Paris climate conference. The Independent reports for example a climate reaction programme costing £25m has been cut in Malawi one of the worlds poorest countries as a result of the aid cuts see Boris Johnson's £11.6bn climate fund to be swiped from aid budget | The Independent

Trees

Again a bold target to plant some 30000 hectares of trees each year to 2050. However again performance falls well short with the Forestry Commission reporting only 13,460 hectares of new woodland was created in the UK 2019-20 (2,330 in England, 10,860 in Scotland, 200 in Northern Ireland, - well short of target

As in so many areas of government policy lots of boosterism something at which our Prime Minister excels but unsupported by delivery. The UK risks chairing the conference with a message of do as I say not as I do

If you would like to know what the Liberal Democrats would do go to http://southsuffolklibdems.org.uk/en/article/2021/1409684/under-100-days-to-save-the-planet