MICHAEL Gove was facing a bitter backlash after agreeing to talks with Extinction Rebellion eco protesters later today.
The Environment Secretary will meet leaders of the activists who brought London to a standstill over Easter with Lord Debden.
Michael Gove has been slammed for agreeing to meet leaders of Extinction Rebellion[/caption]
The campaigners said it was the perfect chance for Mr Gove to show he was ready to act on Britain’s “ecological emergency”.
It came just moments after Extinction Rebellion revealed plans to team up with Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘Momentum’ supporters for a new demo in London’s Parliament Square on Wednesday.
A Department for Environment spokesman said: “We know the impact climate change is having on our environment and welcome discussions on how we can tackle it.”
Last week, Mr Gove gave Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg a standing ovation and said her warning to MPs showed Britain had “not done nearly enough” to tackle climate change.
But furious Tory MPs last night slammed today’s planned meeting as “absolutely outrageous”.
Philip Davies told The Sun: “If you’re a decent law abiding member of the pubic wanting to meet Mr Gove I suspect you’d get nowhere.
“But if you cause huge disruption, force the police to make countless arrests, damage the economy and act like hooligans, you can. What kind of message does that send?”
Mr Gove is putting the finishing touches to an upcoming Environment Bill – and is planning a “statement speech” on climate change next month.
But industry sources said they were growing alarmed at the potential cost to UK PLC. Environmental levies are expected to net the Treasury £13 billion in 2022-2023 – a third higher than now.
Mr Gove and Chancellor Philip Hammond are due to meet business chiefs for crisis talks on Wednesday – amid concerns the ‘green blitz’ may force firms to scrap investment in the UK.
A source said: “We need to make sure environmental regulations with business interest – and we don’t start putting people off investing here.”
The Federation of Small Business – one of those invited – said it was right Government was trying to tackle air quality, recycling and plastic pollution.
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But FSB chair Mike Cherry said: “In these uncertain times we must be proactive to ensure that all small firms have the support they need.”
UK government advisers are expected to recommend a target of ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050 later this week – slapping Britain with the highest binding targets of any large economy.
Lord Debden’s Committee on Climate Change will make the call on Thursday – and demand a new generation of onshore wind turbines as well as ban on gas cookers.
Tory MP Philip Davies has branded Gove’s decision ‘absolutely outrageous’[/caption]
CLIMATE CHANGE IS WAR FOR MILIBAND
GOVERNMENTS must go on a war footing to tackle climate change, ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband said.
He said Britain faced a climate emergency and a “revolution in political leadership” was needed.
And he added: “Politics needs to be on a war footing to deal with this enemy.”
It came as he helped launch a new Environmental Justice Commission by the Institute of Public Policy Research.
A separate cross-party committee also attacked the Government’s post-Brexit environment plans.
Labour’s Neil Parish — chair of the Environment Committee — said it defied belief that climate change did not fall under the proposed Office for Environmental Protection.
He said: “We cannot see standards slip.”
The Sun Says
IT won’t just be Brexit failure that torpedoes the Tories over the next month. It will be their contemptible lack of spine.
The Government is paralysed, unable to fix problems or form ideas.
It is afraid of Corbyn, of Farage, of voters, of its own members.
It’s afraid of anyone who shouts “boo”.
Like the “Extinction Rebellion” hypocrites who brought chaos to London because even our world-leading emissions reductions aren’t enough for them.
Why did they try it on here? Because, like child activist Greta Thunberg, they knew our Government would buckle . . . unlike tougher, dirtier ones elsewhere.
And so it has. Its “fracking tsar” has quit after the party caved in to social media scaremongering.
Now Environment Secretary Michael Gove will formally meet “Extinction Rebels” today — a summit they will film, hoping to shame him further.
Can any mob now win a personal audience with Cabinet ministers via mayhem? This lot spent a fortnight breaking the law and causing misery. Some 1,100 were arrested. Why hasn’t Gove just stated some hard truths and told them to sling their hook?
He could tell them our eco taxes are already deterring investment.
He is more likely to let them walk all over him, as he did with Greta, and as the Government has with the Opposition.
Labour and the SNP are both winning on the environment, despite the Tories’ stellar record since 2010. How? Labour wants to open a new coal mine. The SNP has an economic strategy based on OIL.
What are Theresa May and her Cabinet doing? They are in full retreat on this and every policy.
Winter is here, Tories. Stand and fight.
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