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Was Liz Truss Bad for the U.K.'s Environmental Policy?

Was Liz Truss’ potential election going to prevent the U.K. from reaching the ecological goals? What is Liz Truss’s ecological policy?
Green News
2022-09-30T00:00:00.000Z
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Liz Truss’s nomination for prime minister could have been good for the United Kingdom’s economy, but not so great for the environment.

Global warming is on the rise and is impacting every nation in the world, even the U.K. with dangerous heat waves – which is typically a cloudy region, even in the middle of summer.

What was Liz Truss’s ecological policy, and how could have it proved catastrophic for the U.K. in the midst of incessant climate change? 

Who is Liz Truss?

So, who is Liz Truss – the woman set to replace Boris Johnson as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister?

Liz Truss is 47 years old, and holds twelve years of parliament experience. Her most recent governmental role (before Prime Minister) was serving as a Foreign Secretary, having served as Environment and Justice Secretary prior to her most recent role. She was the last Prime Minister to serve while the late Queen Elizabeth II was still in reign. 

Given Liz Truss was the U.K.’s sixth prime minister in the past four years, following various scandals with Boris Johnson, many of the English were frightful – and wondered if her new role as Prime Minister would be sustainable. In fact, according to the polls – Liz Truss didn't have a large following amongst her fellow Brits. Only around fifteen percent of the British population believed she would be successful in the role as the U.K.’s Prime Minister. 

The policies that Liz Truss have are libertarain, and the plans she would have implemented would have prioritised the economy, as the cost of living in the U.K. skyrocketed. There was an 80% increase in the cost for utilities, and she planned to cut taxes to mitigate this period of inflation. 

Many of Liz Truss’s policies would have adhered to U.S. policies rather than E.U. policies; which would have only further created the newfound divide between the U.K. and the E.U. following Brexit. An economic improvement was indeed necessary in the U.K., as the British sterling pound plummeted in recent years – making it increasingly difficult to purchase and import goods into the country. 

Liz Truss had big plans for the economy, but what about the environment?

How did the rest of Liz Truss’ advisors and team members view environmental and ecological policy?

Liz Truss’s new advisers didn't view global warming as a problem. In fact, some of her new advisors viewed it as potentially beneficial. 

Matthew Sinclair in particular, who wrote a book titled, “Let Them Eat Carbon” back in 2011 – is stirring up concerns amongst those worried about the climate change predicament in the U.K. 

His book delineates that policies that pertain to preventing climate change only increase electricity bills and the cost of other daily needs – very much in line with what was happening in the United Kingdom when Liz Truss was Prime Minister. Sinclair is concerned that the money that is allocated towards climate change, such as towards carbon offsetting projects or organisations that seek environmental improvement, aren’t entirely trustworthy.

People like Sinclair do not view the several environmental crises at hand as urgent, rather – as a roadblock to improving the economic problems the country is currently facing. For instance, Sinclair believes that humanity should assimilate to the fact that global temperatures are rising, and focus on how those environmental policies will worsen the economy. In short, Sinclair wouldn’t advocate for the new U.S. climate bill or legislation in California. 

Other members of Liz Truss’s team would have included her appointed business secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg – who isn’t known to keep the environment in mind with his business objectives. Rees-Mogg has even pontificated that extreme awareness of climate change is the reason for the increased energy prices, and that the fear spread around the globe concerning climate change is unreliable.

However, Graham Stuart, who would have served as the new junior minister for climate change, supports the use of renewable energy sources.  

The reality is, the majority of Truss’s team was not as keen to prioritise the environment, which insinuates that they had other goals in mind.  

Most of Liz Truss’s team clearly didin't prioritise the environment, but what about Liz Truss herself?

What would have Liz Truss and her team done about climate change?

👉 Liz Truss and her team, in the immediate term, probably would have done nothing about climate change, and in fact – they were likely to deter any progress that was made so far to reach net-zero emissions. 

Implementing climate change policies has already been a slow process, but Liz Truss’s team was going to slow it down even more. Liz Truss has expressed her desire to help the U.K. achieve their goal to reach net-zero emissions and transition to the use of renewable energy, but her words didn't seem to measure up with her other commitments. 

The prime minister herself is connected to several organisations that don’t support the actions necessary to mitigate climate change, such as American fossil-fuel organisations. Given Truss herself supports the use of gases for the sake of the economy, this isn’t surprising – but remains concerning. 

Truss wasn’t drawn to the ideal of free markets as the previous Prime Minister, Boris Johnson,  was – meaning she would have been less likely to create opportunities that would allow for environmental improvement. The government was already prioritising fossil fuels to improve the economy, which was done with several approvals for new oil and gas drilling as an attempt to reduce the newfound, exorbitant prices. 

Truss wanted to fix the economy, and she was going to do whatever was necessary to mend that as quickly as possible, and leave the environment out of mind to accomplish that difficult goal. While policies that coincided with the previous, prioritised goal to achieve net-zero emissions should remain the most imperative – it was clear that Truss wasn't going to give them a second look if it meant the U.K.’s economy would have had to suffer for longer than it already had. 

The irony was that if Liz Truss and her team were to encourage energy efficiency, such as through improved insulation or the use of electric vehicles and public transportation – the need for energy would have decreased, as would have the demand, and ultimately – the prices could have dropped, fixing two problems at one time. 

But Liz Truss didn't see this as the way forward for the most immediate, economic relief. Therefore, it was clear that in both the short and long term – Liz Truss wasn’t likely to implement or maintain neither new nor current policies to fight against climate change.

Did Liz Truss’ role as Prime Minister really have an effect on the climate change policies in place?

Liz Truss didn't have full jurisdiction of what would have become of the U.K.’s climate policy. Things like the Climate Change Act allow carbon emission reduction tactics to remain in place despite who serves as the Prime Minister. 

Though, it’s noteworthy that Liz Truss’s policies on climate change and green energy were paradoxical. In short, her mission statement didn't line up with her plans. She pontificated her desire to work towards the United Kingdom’s current target to achieve net-zero emissions, but some of her ideas, like to end green levies on energy bills – would have ultimately reduced the financial support necessary to discover new renewable energy sources. 

Truss had a strong desire for the U.K. to get back to harvesting and eating their own fruit, and lessen the need for importing these goods – but she would have been willing to accomplish this in exchange for destroying the solar panels that span potential farmlands across the country. 

👉 This insinuates that Liz Truss believed that harvesting local crops was more imperative than harvesting renewable energy, when in reality – the use of that renewable energy can help improve local food sourcing, create new jobs, and improve poor economic situations. 

Liz Truss couldn't dictate climate change policies that were already in place, but she had the power to change their priority.

What else was on Liz Truss’ agenda while she served as Prime Minister?

Liz Truss had a few things in mind for the U.K. as long as she was in office. 

For example, Liz Truss was expected to work with various digital companies to improve the speed and efficiency of the internet in homes across the country as an effort to provide the government with new opportunities – such as improving the job market and the economy. 

Truss wanted to support the current ideals presented by the NHS in terms of both health and social care, and was expected to create a plan to improve upon the various health predicaments created by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Brexit was one of the most controversial topics, and is still an individual burden all new Prime Ministers in the U.K. are bound to confront. She was expected to follow through with many of the ideals that were executed when Boris Johnson served as Prime Minister. 

How did Liz Truss’ nomination ultimately impact the United Kingdom’s ecological policy?

It was clear that with Liz Truss serving as Prime Minister, and seeing that much of her team was focused on economical improvement rather than implementing new ecological policies – that the U.K. was likely to see a shift in focus towards improving the economy over anything else. 

The plans for more oil drilling and gas fracking that Truss scheduled were bound to increase emissions, and the use of renewable energy would not have been enough to mitigate this production – nor would it have strived towards net zero emissions. 

Issues that pertain to ecology include issues that benefit the ecological separate of human life, such as fisheries, forestry, wildlife, and biodiversity. 

Did Truss impacted the existing ecological policy the U.K. had implemented? 

Since leaving the E.U., the U.K. had to clearly establish their own environmental values. The Environment Act, for example, strives to improve the country’s air quality, water, biodiversity, and reduce waste. Many of Truss’ plans, predominantly new plans for increased oil drilling – accomplished the antithesis of the goals set in place by The Environment Act.

Some of Liz Truss goals would have helped both ecology and the economy, as she was dedicated to re-establishing the use of native British fruits and meals into society rather than depending on importing those goods. This would have reduced the need to import goods, as well as encouraged biodiversity. 

However, according to her infamous speech, it was clear that if Liz Truss and her team had decided to contribute in the fight against climate change, it was safe to say that she wouldn't have make it a priority until, “the British apple is back at the top of the tree”.

What about Greenly?

If reading this article has made you interested in reducing your carbon emission to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

Click here to learn more about Greenly and how we can help you reduce your carbon footprint.

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