Backing away from green policies would be catastrophic for the economy, a parliamentary group for climate said.
In a letter seen by the Guardian, the all-party parliamentary group has urged UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to send a special envoy for climate ahead of COP28, the UN’s climate annual climate summit.
“Working to guarantee a successful outcome at COP28 is not just essential for the health of people and the planet, but economically the right thing for Britain. As the Office for Budget Responsibility advised, continuing to rely on gas at the current level will come at double the cost of transitioning to net zero,” it said.
“The UK has an important role to play in leveraging its international influence, and working constructively with all [countries], to help secure an agreed package that clearly names the requirement to phase out all fossil fuels and set goals for the upscaling of renewables,” the letter read.
The comment comes as both major UK political parties are under fire for their net zero policies.
Sunak has faced calls from his party to hold back on green pledges, after his party’s victory in the Uxbridge byelection was largely motivated by backlash over an ultra-emission zone proposed by Labour. Meanwhile, Labour leader Keir Starmer said he would “reflect” after the result.
The letter also pointed to a recent report that lambasted the UK for losing its international leadership on climate through a series of policy failures.
“The journey to a net zero Britain offers permanent energy affordability and new economic opportunities across our regions. The country is crying out for this type of change,” parliamentary member Hilary Benn said. “Rishi Sunak must heed our advice and get on with the job. Otherwise, Britain will be left behind in the global race to a clean-energy world.”
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