As UK heats up, Conservative PM candidates cool on climate ambition: it’s up to businesses to take the lead again

Jul 18, 2022 | Blogs

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As the UK braces for the hottest day on record, we have been watching with bated breath as our potential new Prime Ministers have clashed on key policies. Whilst they seem more concerned with cutting taxes, many have been asking what a change in leadership will mean for the UK’s climate policy.

Sunday night’s televised leadership debate offered limited reassurance: whilst all the candidates appeared to commit to maintaining our current Net-Zero targets (with various caveats), it was very apparent that none of them are willing to increase that ambition, or even set out clearer strategies on how we will get there. At a time where, in the wake of COP26, the UK has an opportunity to lead the world in tackling the impending climate disaster, we look set to stall on key policies.

In the face of political uncertainty, private sector action can offer hope. Over the past decade, we have regularly seen businesses stepping up to fill gaps in government policies, such as by committing to Science-Based Targets and responding to the requirements of the Taskforce on Climate-Related Disclosures (TCFD) ahead of government legislation requiring them to do so. Investors, consumers & employees are all demanding ever more ambitious, rigorous, and transparent measures from companies. As government ambition falters, we will once again be looking to the private sector to keep momentum going and to achieve the necessary reductions to limit the impact of climate change.