uk election

Queen’s Speech Reiterates Support for Paris Agreement, But Leaves Most Climate Policy Up-for-Grabs

Queen's speech

My government will continue to support international action against climate change, including the implementation of the Paris agreement.”

So said the Queen during her speech today introducing the start of the parliamentary year and the list of bills the government hopes to pass over the next 12 months.

Along with a brief note on affordable energy and electric cars, this was the only mention of anything related to climate change or the environment in the brief speech.

Despite dangerous air pollution levels across the UK and crucial environmental laws that need to be translated into British legislation as we leave the EU, the environment was notably missing as a policy priority.

Theresa May Appoints New Climate Minister As Wait for Policy ‘Stability’ Continues

Claire Perry

Prime minister Theresa May has had a busy few days. She continued to reshuffle her front-bench yesterday, moving a number of junior ministers into new roles.

One MP to find himself in a new job this morning is climate minister Nick Hurd, who has been moved to the Home Office.

He is replaced in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) by Claire Perry, the MP for Devizes in Wiltshire. She was previously assistant whip and a minister in the Department for Transport.

May’s Cabinet Reshuffle: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for Climate Change

Theresa May

After a tumultuous few days cobbling together a government with the DUP, and trying to persuade the country that she can continue to provide the “certainty” it needs going into Brexit negotiations, Theresa May on Sunday shuffled her cabinet.

So far it doesn't seem things are likely to change very much as most of the key players have kept their roles held prior to the election, perhaps showing the limited options available to the UK's severely bruised PM.

There were some significant changes on the environmental front, however.

Is There Hope for the Climate in Scotland After Election Shake-Up?

Scotland election 2017

For the UK Conservative party, Scotland will be seen as one of the few successes of an otherwise miserable 2017 general election campaign.

Despite the loss an overall parliamentary majority and Prime Minister Theresa May’s failed plan to transform her party’s huge poll lead to a domineering presence in Westminster, the Tories somersaulted their 2015 election win of a single Scottish seat, this time taking 13.

This is the biggest surge since the Tory’s Scottish collapse following the 1980s, and will leave many – in a country vastly proud of its anti-Tory stance – wondering what happened.

‘Now Fracking is Finally Here, It Can’t be Ignored’: An Interview with Green Party Candidate Tina Rothery

Tina Rotheray and Green party leader Caroline Lucas

Tina Rothery is standing as the Green party candidate in the Fylde, an area on the frontline of the UK's fledgling shale gas industry.

She is running against Conservative Mark Menzies, who won the seat by around 13,000 votes in 2015.

But a vote for her and the Green party is not just a vote against Menzies, she told me over the phone. It's also a statement: that local opposition to fracking can't be ignored.

Brexit Climate Deniers Launch Coordinated Attack Against Green Regulations Ahead of Election

Windmills and smoke stacks

The Brexit climate science deniers have over the weekend launched a coordinated attempt to persuade the UK to cut green regulations ahead of Theresa May revealing the Conservative Party’s 2017 general election manifesto.

In op-ed columns and letters to the editor in both The Times and The Telegraph members of climate science denying and neoliberal think tanks have criticised the UK Climate Change Act for increasing energy prices and called for looser regulations once we leave the European Union.

Those authoring the columns and heading up the letters belong to a small yet influential group of hardline Euro-climate sceptics as revealed by DeSmog UK last summer.

Minister Claims UK Pushed for Stricter Diesel Rules When it Actually Tried to Weaken Them

car exhaust

The government is getting good at putting a spin on its air pollution plans (or lack of them) ahead of the June 2017 general election.  

On Thursday, it told the high court it wanted to delay the publication of a new air quality strategy to “comply with pre-election propriety rules”. The court had previously ordered the government to release the report by Monday, after an earlier plan was judged to have been insufficiently ambitious.

The request for the delay comes shortly after the transport minister, John Hayes, tried to persuade parliament that the UK was at the forefront of European efforts to improve air quality from diesel emissions — when in fact the opposite appears to be true.

Thousands March on Parliament to Demand 'Science not Silence'

On an uncharacteristically sunny day in central London, thousands of smiling people in white lab coats holding placards adorned with Einstein’s equations and Neil DeGrasse Tyson quotations marched towards Parliament shouting “science not silence”.

The chant filtered back a half-mile or so down the road, and all of a sudden, thousands of similarly dressed, previously shy people had become vocal. It was a rare moment of activism from a group normally content to go under the radar, bunkering down in labs and libraries across the world.

The chant quickly became the impromptu slogan for London’s March for Science on Saturday.

UK Election 2017: Climate Change and Energy

Climate change isn’t a major issue in the UK 2017 election. But according to a recent survey the majority of people in Britain accept that climate change is happening right now.

Here we break down the parties’ main positions on climate change, energy and the environment.

Get Weekly News Updates
Subscribe to uk election