As Liz Truss is named the UK’s new Conservative Prime Minister this week, what does the PM have in store for the country’s climate change strategy and environmental policies amid an energy and cost of living crisis? 

What are her green credentials?
After graduating from the University of Oxford, Liz Truss qualified as an accountant during her employment at Shell in 2000. Unsurprisingly, Truss has had numerous cabinet roles, including serving as Environment Secretary in 2014, where you can catch her distressed views on British cheese exports here 

What about her green views?
Other than some upset over mass solar farms on agricultural land, Liz Truss says she’ll “double down” on the UK’s effort to reach net-zero GHG emissions goals by 2050.  

 Nevertheless, Truss has also made some questionable conclusions that looks to revert these efforts, namely: 

  • Pledging to scrap green levies on energy bills supporting clean power and home insulation retrofits. Poorly insulated homes are looking to pay an extra £1000 on gas bills this winter – a worrying figure for low income households who reside in high-energy consuming homes. These green levies go towards policies such as discounted energy bills for those on low incomes, and grants issued to households to cover the cost of installing energy efficient improvements for their homes. 
  • In talks with oil giants discussing the issuance of 130 new drilling licences and further North Sea oil drilling. Information from the National infrastructure Commission (NIC) and the Climate Change Committee (CCC) suggests that increasing domestic production of gas may improve our energy security, however, our gas reserves are “too small to impact meaningfully the prices faced by UK consumers.” Therefore, efforts should definitely be looking at wind and solar power for cleaner and cheaper methods of electricity production.   

What’s being said in the green community?
A letter signed by a group of 40 organisations (including the British Safety Council and Green Alliance) to both PM candidates last week asked them to consider the impact of abandoning inherited EU policy green and social regulations. Regulation ensures the essential maintenance of ‘high UK standards and common-sense protections’, and would threaten current worker health and safety and environmental standards.  

Friends of the Earth have also offered five ways the new PM can tackle the energy and climate crisis, including revising the government net-zero strategy (since the High Court ruled it unlawful in July after breaching obligations under the Climate Change Act), and rejecting expensive fracking and new fossil fuel plans as renewable power is nine times cheaper than gas 

What next from Liz? 

Little detail of the new PM’s agenda has been revealed, but this week will see an initial energy plan the country has been waiting for. We’ll also get to know Truss’ position on renewable energy, as previous talks of lifting the moratorium on fracking to increase gas production does allude to her opposition. The UK public eagerly awaits.  

Regardless of how Liz Truss sees to help with the UK’s commitment to net-zero, our professional services team and platform are here to support businesses with managing and reporting progress on their ESG initiatives. Get in touch with us today.

 

By Anja Hysi, Content Lead at Emex. 

Manage Sustainability & ESG Reporting And Improve Performance With Emex