BORIS JOHNSON and Theresa May do appear to agree on one point – namely a new commitment for Britain to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2050.
The first world power to go this far, it is another aspect of the current Prime Minister’s attempt to build a legacy of sorts before she leaves office next month and further acknowledgement about the rise of environmental activism as a political force.
Yet, in doing so, Mrs May has also revealed the cack-handed nature of policy-making after she allowed the Government to become totally bogged down by Brexit. After all, this laudable target has been confirmed before the Government makes clear how it will be achieved – the proposed Energy White Paper, just like the long-overdue strategy on social care, is already long-overdue and will inevitably be put further on the back-burner by the Tory leadership contest.
In an acknowledgement of the Treasury’s scepticism about the cost of meeting this target, there will be a further review five years from now to confirm that other high-polluting countries are taking similarly ambitious action.
And then there is the Government’s inconsistent approach towards renewable energy like solar power, all while public transport has been left at the mercy of Chris Grayling whose inept and incompetent mismanagement of the Department for Transport has done little to promote greater use of trains and buses while reducing car dependency. As such, it speaks volumes that Mrs May’s ambition will only have a chance of being met if her successor can bring some order to Whitehall.