Theresa May has raised fears about her Government's attitude towards global warming. One of Theresa May's first acts as Prime Minister was to move responsibility for climate change to a new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The decision to abolish the Department for Energy and Climate Change was variously condemned as 'plain stupid', 'deeply worrying', and 'terrible' by politicians, campaigners, and experts. Photo: Getty Images

By Ian Johnston
14 July 2016

(Independent) – The decision to abolish the Department for Energy and Climate Change has been variously condemned as “plain stupid”, “deeply worrying” and “terrible” by politicians, campaigners and experts.

One of Theresa May’s first acts as Prime Minister was to move responsibility for climate change to a new Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Only on Monday, Government advisers had warned of the need to take urgent action to prepare the UK for floods, droughts, heatwaves and food shortages caused by climate change.

The news came after the appointment of Andrea Leadsom – who revealed her first question to officials when she became Energy Minister last year was “Is climate change real? – was appointed as the new Environment Secretary.

And, after former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd announced in November that Britain was going to “close coal” by 2025, Ms Leadsom later asked the coal industry to help define what this actually meant. […]

Craig Bennett, chief executive of Friends of the Earth, pointed out that a major report into the effects of climate change on Britain had made clear that it was already happening.

“This is shocking news. Less than a day into the job and it appears that the new Prime Minister has already downgraded action to tackle climate change, one of the biggest threats we face,” he said. [more]

Climate change department killed off by Theresa May in 'plain stupid' and 'deeply worrying' move


14 July 2016 (NEF) – In response to the merging of departments, Stephen Devlin, Environmental Economist at the New Economics Foundation (NEF), said:

“Abolishing the Department of Energy and Climate Change is a terrible move by our new Prime Minister and signals a troubling de-prioritisation of climate change by this government.”

“Tackling climate change is an era-defining challenge that must direct and determine what industries we develop, what transport infrastructure we construct, how we manage our land and what our diets look like. It requires a central co-ordinated strategy; if we leave it to the afterthoughts of other departments we will fail.”

“This reshuffle risks dropping climate change from the policy agenda altogether – a staggering act of negligence for which we will all pay the price.”

“Theresa May must reaffirm her government’s commitment to the 2008 Climate Change Act. This world-leading piece of legislation commits us to an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 and is one of few remaining silver linings in UK environmental policy."

"The government must reassure businesses and civil society that the targets under the Climate Act are not up for negotiation.”

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We can’t afford to scrap DECC

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