Unless you've been hibernating you're probably aware that there is a competition for a replacement prime minister. I've been trying to hear what the contenders have to say about their policies towards energy, climate and biodiversity issues (etc). Not much luck so far. I'm hoping that will change tonight when there's the first TV debate. Can't wait. I'll report back ...
Well, it got a mention. The "it" being some conflation of energy, nature and climate under the heading of a "green economy". All candidates were in favour of doing something though (as in other matters) specifics were not always clearly visible – although one of them (I forget who) said we should be counting things.
One (it was Kemi Badenoch) said that targets were one thing, but what really mattered was the appropriateness of the decisions we took in trying to reach the targets. I took this to be a continuation of her critique that not all may be well in how were are thinking and acting about the holy grail of net zero. I note this here because I agree with her.
As a postscript, although there were the usual genuflections towards the NHS and the secular saints that work in it, there was no comment on schools policy and the curriculum box was kept nailed shut.
At the (much better structured) Sunday evening debate it seemed clear that discussion topics were chosen because of the perception that the candidates were divided about the issues and/or what to do about them.
They were all asked whether they would back down on the net zero commitment in any way. Sunak was the only candidate to answer No. The others equivocated one way or another. Kemi Badenoch was particularly direct: "If there are things that will make life difficult for ordinary people, I will change them… if we bankrupt ourselves we will be leaving a terrible future for our children and I will not allow that." There is clear blue water here.
The bankruptcy point is well-made, of course. The difficult life issues less so perhaps when the green infrastructure levy has been increasing electricity prices for a decade or so now. I should declare an interest: the shareholders in Semington A benefit from the levy (from feed-in tariffs) – although its owner's electricity costs have risen at a faster rate.