WOKINGHAM MP, Sir John Redwood thinks climate campaigners should challenge China and not the UK over carbon dioxide emissions.
In a post published on his blog yesterday, he wrote: “The UK has many campaigners against carbon dioxide who worry about levels of man-made gas being put into the atmosphere.
“The UK has been one of the most successful countries at getting its CO2 emissions down.”
He added that campaigners should divert their efforts towards China instead.
Sir John continued: “China adds around 30 times more CO2 to the atmosphere each year than the UK. It also puts out considerably more per head.
“If that is too difficult then surely [campaigners] could turn their talents to changing the EU.
“They account for around eight times our output, with a higher output per head.”
Sir John criticised the burning of coal, and the motor industry in Germany, adding that the EU should welcome advice from the UK “as their whole new economic and regulatory policy is based around CO2 reduction.”
Cllr Gregor Murray, executive member for the climate emergency said: “Everyone has a role to play in the fight to reduce carbon emissions and tackling climate change, be they a country, community, business or an individual.
“As the residents of both the United Kingdom and Wokingham work hard to reduce our carbon footprint I hope that those with a global platform will use our efforts as an example of what is possible when a dedicated and motivated community and their politicians choose to take action.”
Cllr Sarah Kerr, vice chair of the climate emergency working group said: “While John Redwood is right that other countries around the world need to be changing their ways when it comes to tackling climate change, campaigners should not be taking their eye off the ball away from the UK’s role in this, particularly as the UK government continues to make decisions at odds with tackling the climate emergency.
“We must continue to challenge and hold our government to account and attempting to divert our attention elsewhere is unacceptable.
“Developed countries like the UK have caused huge amounts of damage to our environment with developing countries following suit.
“We should be using our position in the world to lead the change that is required and encourage others to follow. It’s imperative that the UK continues to work with it’s European neighbours especially, and continues to fight for and implement change.
“Within Europe, many countries from the most recent data we have are leading the pack well ahead of the UK such as Sweden, Portugal and France.
“We must also be mindful that the data is always out of date. For example, the Wokingham Borough Council climate emergency action plan is using the most recently available data which is 2017.
“Countries like China have been making huge advances in their fight against climate change since the most recent figures were published, such as with the introduction of their solar farms, which means China now has more solar energy capacity than any other country in the world.
“Whilst the UK has met its first and second carbon budgets as set out through the Paris Agreement, and is on track for the third. it is not on track to meet the fourth carbon budget and has some huge changes to make in order to reach those.
“It is therefore worrying that our government continues to make decisions that would take us backwards.
“Business Secretary, Andrea Leadsom went against the government’s own planning inspectorate recommendation and gave approval for Drax to build Europe’s largest gas powered station in the North East of England. Plus, the government has given a green light to a new coal mine in Cumbria.
“While individuals are doing their best with tackling climate change, this is being undermined by the actions of our government. There is plenty of evidence that demonstrates campaigners are right to continue challenging the UK government on climate change.”