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Photo Credit: Owen Humphreys/ PA Wire PA Images
Photo Credit: Owen Humphreys/ PA Wire PA Images
Photo Credit: Owen Humphreys/ PA Wire PA Images
Photo Credit: Owen Humphreys/ PA Wire PA Images
UK News

Christian climate campaigner: 'Gov't New Green Deal isn't green or new'

by Tola Mbakwe

A Christian climate campaigner has criticised the UK Government's new plan to tackle the climate crisis for falling short in many areas. 

Under Prime Minster Boris Johnson's 10-point plan for a "green industrial revolution" sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be phased out by 2030. 

The move brings the ban on new conventional cars and vans forward by a decade, from a planned date of 2040, though the sale of some hybrid vehicles will be allowed until 2035.

It aims to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles to cut climate emissions and local air pollution, as part of the 10-point plan to boost jobs and drive the shift towards cutting emissions to net zero by 2050.

Andy Lester, conservation director at A Rocha UK told Premier there are some things to celebrate in this plan and others to be sceptical about. 

"The Government has referred to it as the new Green Deal and we agree with that, with the exception of two caveats. The first is it's not very green. And the second is, is it's not new. But apart from that his great."
He said he welcomes the plan to bring forward the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars, but is concerned about if it's realistic. 

"The big challenge is the infrastructure for all those new cars to be able to plug in the electricity points and there are big questions about whether they can get the infrastructure up and in time for that date. So, it's not going to be simple. 

"But we see that at least one element of the 10-point plan is, at least, creative. As to the rest of it, most of it we've heard before, most of it doesn't involve very much money, and lots and lots of challenges and questions."

The Prime Minister outlined new investment of £1.3 billion to accelerate the rollout of charge points in homes, streets, and on motorways, to make electric vehicles easier to charge up, and £582 million in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to help reduce the costs.

An extra £200 million of new funding will go towards creating two clusters of carbon capture and storage infrastructure, there is a £525 million boost to nuclear power and £20 million for a competition to develop clean maritime technology.

Sue Willsher, senior policy advisor on climate change at Tearfund, said she is pleased with the ambitious targets outlined in the plan but is worried it doesn't go far enough to addressing the effects of the climate crisis in the world's poorest countries. 

"There are some key things missing, for example it sits uneasily with the fact that we are still spending billions of taxpayers' money supporting oil and gas projects overseas. This needs to stop. The government should instead direct that investment towards renewable energy overseas.

"The climate crisis leaves no country untouched but often the poorest people most severely impacted and requires strong and decisive leadership from the UK as hosts of the UN climate talks next year."

Lester urged Christians to play their part in making the UK greener. 

A Rocha UK has a new scheme called Wild Christian to help people find ways to be environmentally friendly. 

"Get out there and love your community, get involved with your Wildlife Trust, get your church out litter picking and use it as a tool to reach the gospel out to the widest possible community. Be Jesus in community at this time and use environment as a vehicle for that. The real Green Revolution is going to be the transformation of people's hearts to Christ."

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