The Professional Bodies Climate Charter
On 19th July 2022, a letter was sent to the frontrunners of the Conservative Party leadership race from the Professional Bodies Climate Charter. The letter urges whoever should become the new UK Prime Minister to continue supporting the UK’s pledge to deliver net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Among the Industry Bodies that have signed the joint letter is the Institute of Materials Minerals & Mining, the Chartered Institute of Builders, the Chartered Association of Building Engineers, and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Eddie Tuttle, Director of Policy, External Affairs and Research at CIOB, said:
“We wholeheartedly support these calls for meaningful action on climate change and net zero, which must be a priority for the next prime minister.
The built environment sector has a significant role in supporting the UK’s net zero ambitions, but it will require strong leadership, clear policy direction and focus at a governmental level.”
About the net-zero emissions law
In June 2019, the UK became the first major economy to pass a net-zero emissions law. The legislation, signed by Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore, legally bound the UK to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
Then, on 7th July 2022, Boris Johnson resigned as the leader of the Conservative Party after losing the support of his MPs and a portion of the UK population.
The Professional Bodies Climate Charter was created to urge whoever takes over from Boris Johnson to re-commit their pledge to deliver net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Will the pledge get delivered?
On Wednesday 20th July 2022, BBC News announced that Tory leaders Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss made it through to the final two contenders who are vying to succeed Boris Johnson as the new Conservative Party leader and the new Prime Minister of the UK.
From Friday 22nd July, meetings called ‘hustings’ will be held around the country where the two candidates will be able to address potential voters. Then, around 160,000 Conservative party members will complete a postal ballot to decide who the new Prime Minister of the UK will be. The winner will be announced on Monday 5th September 2022.
The Conservative Environment Network (CEN) claims that the “candidates largely understand the strength of public and parliamentary support for environmental action and the strong economic and security case for achieving net zero”. However, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero, Ed Milliband, expressed scepticism at the candidates’ enthusiasm to deliver the net-zero strategy:
“That doesn’t strike me as a group of people who are deeply committed to the climate crisis.”
Nevertheless, the Professional Bodies Climate Action Charter, in their letter to the leadership candidates, insisted upon the importance of delivering the net-zero strategy for the UK:
“Implementing a robust Net Zero Strategy is the UK’s best path to unlocking the numerous economic opportunities associated with the net zero transition, including shielding UK citizens from the ongoing energy price crisis, creating hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs and unlocking private investment at scale for the sustainable markets of tomorrow. “