It’s disappointing that our new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, doesn’t consider attending COP27 a priority. I appreciate his government has to deal with the UK’s cost of living crisis, but now is not the time to retreat from our environmental pledges.
By addressing climate change head on, Sunak would be ensuring our society is resilient to future cost-of-living crises. Renewable energy sources cost virtually nothing to run, they are secure and not dependent on Russia, and with the support of flexible demand, like electric vehicles, they can be slotted into the grid quickly. If the UK had embraced renewable energy earlier consumers would not be facing such high energy costs – and we’d have cleaner air and less emissions too.
Mr. Sunak might end up attending the conference, but his hesitancy suggests he will not give climate matters the attention they deserve. The 2030 petrol and diesel car ban is around the corner, and it’s pivotal that policies are enacted to enable the UK to adapt successfully. The worrying reports from the UN means every nation must show how they are making progress and taking action to reduce emissions. We need concerted action, not dithering.
If we’re to stand a chance of a net zero future then we need a committed government. Sunak thinking about snubbing COP27 sends out all the wrong messages. The world’s environmental health must be a priority. He must realise this and step up to the plate.