Tory MP says voters 'don't care about Net Zero because 90% will be dead' by 2050
All Conservative Party leadership candidates have committed to Net Zero plans
Conservative Party members are unwilling to back the Government's Net Zero policies because "90 percent of them will be dead" according to a Tory MP.
Chris Skidmore, a former junior minister and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Environment, spoke about a "rather depressing" poll of Conservative members which showed just four percent want leadership candidates to put the country's Net Zero strategy in their top three priorities.
Mr Skidmore, speaking on a panel devised by the National Grid, said: “Of course they would say that, because when you cast the question as Net Zero by 2050 probably 90 percent of them will be dead.”
All of the remaining Conservative leadership candidates in the race have committed to Net Zero plans.
At a well-attended hustings organised by the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) and chaired by Cop26 President Alok Sharma, the candidates confirmed their commitment to the UK’s net zero target.
Mr Skidmore, former energy minister and chairman of the Net Zero Support Group of Conservative MPs, said he was “delighted” all candidates have now signed up to the pledge.
He said: “Since the beginning of the Conservative leadership contest, there has been a question mark over the future of Net Zero and our climate commitments, especially with a few candidates speaking against the idea of a target to deliver emissions reductions.
“The reality is that this is an internationally agreed framework that the UK has led, demonstrating that you can halve your carbon dioxide emissions at the same time as doubling the size of the economy.
“As the energy and climate minister who signed Net Zero into law three years ago, I know how seriously other countries are watching the UK’s progress to decarbonise. We are seen as international leaders.
“Net Zero is also delivering investment and jobs into the north and red wall constituencies that are benefitting from a green industrial revolution. That’s why I’ve spent the leadership contest standing up for Net Zero and the benefits it delivers now.”
Mr Skidmore added: “We have come a long way in two weeks but I am delighted that we now will have two candidates face the membership, both of whom have committed to Net Zero and backing action on climate change.”