Downing Street candidates called to take a stand on the environment

Downing Street candidates called to take a stand on the environment


The candidates to succeed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were called on Sunday to take a stand on the climate crisis, a subject relegated to the background in the campaign, as they come face to face in the evening for a second televised debate. /strong> 

There are still five in the race for power launched after the announcement on July 7 of the resignation of Boris Johnson, swept away by an avalanche of departures triggered by an overflow of scandals and lies. 

Secretary of State for International Trade Penny Mordaunt, ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak, head of diplomacy Liz Truss, ex-secretary of state for equality Kemi Badenoch and MP Tom Tugendhat reunite at 6:00 p.m. GMT for a debate on the ITV channel.

As temperatures above 40 degrees are expected in England earlier this week, COP26 President and Minister Alok Sharma called on the Conservative candidates to meet the country's climate commitments, a subject relegated to the background of debates hitherto dominated by the cost of living crisis and integrity issues.

“Anyone who aspires to lead our country must show that they will take the problem very seriously,” Mr. Sharma told The Observer newspaper on Sunday, not ruling out leaving his post if this were not the case.

While all but Kemi Badenoch say they will maintain the country's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, only Rishi Sunak does not intend to question the levers decided under Johnson to achieve this goal.

“We have to put that (the carbon neutrality objective) aside until we make sure that no one suffers” from the cost of living crisis, MP Iain Duncan, supporter of Liz Truss, said on Sky News on Sunday. .

Asked to the BBC, Penny Mordaunt said she would stick with the target, but that it should not “knock out” the British financially.

“Cost effective”

“There are still politicians who think that protecting the planet is not something profitable” as fires and heat records multiply in Europe, tweeted, weary, the British Minister for the Environment. 'international, Zac Goldsmith.

The candidates will have the opportunity to discuss their environmental strategy on Monday during a question and answer session on the subject organized by a group of Conservative MPs.

Until then, the cost of living crisis which is strangling the British has dominated the debates, Liz Truss or Penny Mordaunt promising tax cuts to relieve households.

Announcements that resemble unrealistic “fairy tales”, retorted Mr. Sunak on Friday, for whom such measures would only increase inflation already at a record 9.1% in May.

After months of scandals and lies under Boris Johnson, issues of integrity and trust are also widely discussed. Only Tom Tugendhat gave a firm “no” answer when asked on Friday whether the resigning prime minister was honest. Kemi Badenoch contented herself with a “sometimes” with a laugh and the other three stammered vague answers.

The five candidates will face each other again on television on Sunday evening. Betmakers still put ex-Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt in the lead neck and neck with Rishi Sunak, ahead of Liz Truss.

But on Saturday, a poll by the Conservative Home site with his conservative readership, Kemi Badenoch was in the lead, who delivered a less jargon performance than most of his rivals on Friday during a first televised debate.

In order to select the new Prime Minister, Tory MPs will vote again on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to eliminate the candidates one by one while a third debate takes place on Sky News on Wednesday.

Once the distribution of the final head-to-head determined, the choice will fall to members of the Conservative Party who will vote by post during the summer. The result of the ballot is expected for September 5.