Advertisement
Environment

Kwasi Kwarteng misses meeting on speeding up climate action after UK records hottest ever day

The energy secretary missed a meeting on moving away from fossil fuels the day after the UK recorded its hottest ever temperature.

Business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has failed to attend a hearing on accelerating climate action the day after the UK recorded its hottest ever temperature.

The hearing, hosted by the Environmental Audit Committee, (EAC) was held to discuss how the UK can speed up its transition away from fossil fuels and secure national energy supply. 

Kwarteng was invited to give evidence in the second half of the session, but failed to show up, writing a letter to committee chair Phillip Dunne ahead of the meeting saying that he is “no longer able to attend”. He did not give a reason. 

Kwarteng said that he would arrange to meet with the EAC in September when parliament returns from recess.

“Given the importance of the topic, I have asked my private office and parliamentary teams to work with your clerks to find a time at your earliest convenience once the House returns in September,” his letter read.

The no-show marks the second time in a week that a government minister has failed to attend a select committee session concerning climate change, and comes during a week when the UK has seen widespread fires and disruption due to extreme temperatures nationwide.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Scientists and experts say the extreme weather would have been impossible without human induced climate change, with the high temperatures demonstrating how ill-adapted the UK is to a warming world

On Monday, minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Ellis MP failed to attend a National Security Strategy select committee hearing exploring how the UK can adapt its vital infrastructure to cope with higher temperatures.

It was the second session in the enquiry that Ellis had missed, with the previous no-show prompting a letter from the committee’s chair Margaret Beckett MP regarding a lack of ministerial responsibility around climate resilience. 

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work.

Beckett wrote that the committee had the “unfortunate impression” that no ministers were taking responsibility for adapting infrastructure to cope with climate change.

“There are no ministers with responsibility for the resilience of critical national infrastructure to the effects of climate change, nor for cross-government climate adaptation efforts,” the letter reads.

Ministers in the Tory leadership race have also faced criticism in recent weeks over their position on climate change and the UK’s net zero target

Rishi Sunak, who is among the final contenders for prime minister, has pledged to block onshore wind farms in spite of widespread public support for this type of renewable energy. 

Penny Mordaunt, meanwhile, has previously received donations from prominent climate sceptics in spite of expressing support for net zero publicly.

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Sewage dumped into sea at coastal resorts as heavy rain follows heatwave
Sewage pollution

Sewage dumped into sea at coastal resorts as heavy rain follows heatwave

Why England's rivers are so polluted - and what you can do about it
River pollution

Why England's rivers are so polluted - and what you can do about it

Wales has stopped building new roads. Will other countries go down the same route?
Wales

Wales has stopped building new roads. Will other countries go down the same route?

Why your next flight might be on an airship
Sustainable Transport

Why your next flight might be on an airship

Most Popular

Read All
Oil giants Shell and BP have been handed £700m of taxpayer cash despite bumper profits
1.

Oil giants Shell and BP have been handed £700m of taxpayer cash despite bumper profits

What are the risks of Don't Pay UK? We asked a leading lawyer
2.

What are the risks of Don't Pay UK? We asked a leading lawyer

How broken is the UK's public transport? I spent all day on buses to find out
3.

How broken is the UK's public transport? I spent all day on buses to find out

Sadiq Khan's Right to Buy-back scheme leads to return of 1,500 council homes
4.

Sadiq Khan's Right to Buy-back scheme leads to return of 1,500 council homes

Keep up to date with the Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.