Cllr Ed Gemmell and Cllr Dr Sue Roberts at the launch of the Climate Party

New Climate Party vows to ‘take on’ Truss at the next election

Image credit: Photograph: The Climate Party

A new centre-right political party has launched in the UK, with the stated aims of significantly accelerating the decarbonisation of the UK and ejecting net zero-sceptic Conservative MPs from their constituencies at the next general election.

The Climate Party was launched on the same day that it was announced that Liz Truss had won the Conservative leadership contest.

Speaking at the launch of his new party, Ed Gemmell said: “We’re throwing the gauntlet down to Liz Truss on real leadership. Forget trying to appeal to people with a short-term political expediency of just the next election. We want to see climate leadership.

“We will take on you and all your candidates that are in marginal seats; we will be there biting at the heels of all those candidates who are taking away the votes of centre-right climate-conscious voters. And we are going to take on the Net Zero Scrutiny Group.”

The government currently has a target of net zero emissions by 2050, whereas the pro-business Climate Party backs a 2030 decarbonisation target, which it describes as the “biggest business opportunity on the planet”.

Truss, who will officially become prime minister tomorrow, is understood to be planning to agree more than a hundred new licences to allow fossil fuel companies to increase prospecting off the UK coast.

The Climate Party said this was “a total disgrace” and described further oil and gas development as the “obsolete and dangerous fossil fuel-based solution of the 1970s”.

The single-issue party also criticised Truss’ “utter failure” to address the “existential threat” of climate change and her “insistence on ignoring the economic opportunity presented by it”.

The pro-business party will put forward a minimum of 110 candidates in the next general election. It intends to dislodge from their seats current and future members of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, led by Steve Baker and Craig Mackinlay. This group, which has called on the government to reverse its net zero ambitions, has claimed to have 58 members, although according to Conservative Home at least 100 Conservative MPs are believed to be sympathetic.

The Climate Party’s leader, Ed Gemmell, is a former army officer and previously worked as a city lawyer for CMS Cameron Mckenna and Baker & McKenzie. He was elected in May 2019 as unitary councillor for Buckinghamshire on the single policy of Climate Action Now.

He said his party was “open to any Conservative who wants to join our party, but that they would have to accept that 2030 is the target both from a business and decarbonisation perspective”.

Gemmell added: “Politicians have utterly failed to grip the opportunities of sustainable energy supply and energy efficiency for decades, callously exposing British people to inevitable shocks in the polluting fossil fuel system.

“In addition, the Conservatives continue to allow the destruction of the natural world on their watch, spoiling our countryside and eroding our natural defences against floods and wildfires. We will do what it takes to repair the damage done.”

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