Dear Liz Truss, climate change is not a hoax – Scotsman comment

Unlike Donald Trump, Liz Truss has not dismissed climate change as a “hoax”. However, it is beginning to look like she and the former US president share similar views on the greatest threat ever faced by humanity.

How else to explain reports that one of Truss’s first actions, if she becomes Prime Minister, would be to issue up to 130 new drilling licences for oil and gas? She also plans to end the ban on fracking.

These are policies reminiscent of Trump’s removal of a ban on coalmining on federal land during his first days in office.

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Yet Truss’s rhetoric suggests something different. Writing for the Conservative Environment Network, she said she would double down on “our drive to hit net-zero emissions by 2050”.

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If she is truly committed to reach this target, in just 28 years' time, she needs to explain how vast new supplies of fossil fuels can still be opened up.

There is no suggestion, even by environmentalists, that oil and gas production should stop overnight. However, any government that takes the threat posed by climate change seriously needs to demonstrate that its policies are in accordance with a gradual and carefully planned reduction.

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Truss should also explain how increasing production of fossil fuels will affect people’s energy bills. Without draconian market controls, it is hard to see how it will help, given oil and gas are globally traded commodities.

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With a third of Pakistan said to be under water, a man and a youth use a satellite dish to move children across a flooded area (Picture: Fida Hussain/AFP via Getty Images)

Furthermore, a recent UK Government auction for major renewable energy projects saw the bidders agree to generate electricity for an average price of £48 per megawatt hour – nine times cheaper than the cost of running gas-fired power stations, according to a report.

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In an appeal for international aid for Pakistan to help it deal with devastating floods, United Nations’ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “As we continue to see more and more extreme weather events around the world, it is outrageous that climate action is being put on the backburner as global emissions of greenhouse gases are still rising, putting all of us, everywhere, in growing danger.

“… Let's stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change. Today, it is Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country.”

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Climate change is real. It is not a hoax. Some politicians still need to wake up to that reality.

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