Rishi Sunak has today announced changes to some practical elements of the government's climate change strategy. He has suggested that this is in order to reduce the burden for this on the people of this country. I find it difficult to believe that this is actually what is going on. I have no idea if it will be published but I have sent the letter below to The Guardian:
"I was more than disappointed in Rishi Sunak's climate policy announcements on Wednesday 20th September, even though the pre-emptive press coverage had set the tone.
What worries me most is that he seems to be adding climate to migration, connections beyond our borders and industrial relations as a further arena in which to engender enmity. Pandering to the politics of polarisation may pollute us in an even more insidious way than failing to move away from fossil fuels, however urgent and essential that may be.
The pandemic had the potential to show us, amongst other things, that boundaries are meaningless when it comes to certain threats. This includes emissions of harmful gases and particles released into our atmosphere. Creating division and dissension or even just clouds of confusion not only prevents decisive action, but also serves to spread and perpetuate conflict.
There are many things needed in the face of climate and ecological challenges. Some of them are tricky for government to achieve; spaces to curate nature and cohesive communities are much easier to encourage at a local level. But we do need commitment, leadership and vision from the centre. That is partly because we have many years of inaction to compensate for and that increases the significance of today's announcements.
If government could take a lead from the vast web of connections of the natural world, which we are recognising more and more as we see it under ever greater threat, perhaps it would learn to do no harm to the relationships between its people."