Therese Coffey: how has new Environment Secretary voted on the issue? What has she said about climate change?
Therese Coffey’s environment credentials are under the microscope as she takes up the role of Environment Secretary
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One of the areas Sunak has looked to distance himself from is Truss’ envionmental policies. The Prime Minister has re-introduced the ban on fracking, while also saying that his government is committed to the net-zero promise, despite not planning to attend COP27 and Therese Coffey admitting that targets for air and water quality are being delayed.
Coffey has moved to the role of Environment Secretary in Sunak’s Cabinet. So will she be able to double down on the government’s commitment? We take a look at her previous comments and voting records on the matter.
How has Therese Coffey voted on environmental issues?
As an MP since 2010, Coffey has taken part in many votes on enviromental votes. This is how she has voted on major issues, according to TheyWorkForYou.com.
Coffey has consistantly voted for higher taxes on plane tickets, while also voting for the high-speed train projects.
However, her record is more dubious on other environmental issues. This includes voting generally against measures to tackle climates change and against financial insentives for low-carbonenergy solutions.
Coffey has also voted for selling England’s forests and badger culling. Her record on fracking is a bit more mixed - in the past she has voted in a mixture of ways for and against fracking issues, including backing Truss’ so-called ‘confidence vote’ on the Labour motion to consider banning the practice.
What has Therese Coffey said about environmental issues in the past?
While her voting record is a bit grey in terms of enrivomental issues, the appointment of Coffey was met with some hope. This is because of her previous experience in the DEFRA department and her comments on green energy.
While speaking about investment into green schemes as a Work and Pensions Secretary, she said: “Pensions can be the superpower in delivering prosperity for people and the planet in our race to net zero.”
She also had warm comments for DEFRA’s 2020 nature strategy. The strategy focused on restoring wildlife-rich places in England, with Coffey saying at the time: “This is a really exciting moment for our natural environment after years of work. Our nature strategy in harmony with and a great catalyst for our climate change strategy will help us both achieve net zero and save our planet.”
Upon being appointed Enrivonment Secretary, Coffey did the rounds on morning television, telling reporter her plans for the UK to reach its net-zero aim by 2030. But do they go far enough?
She said: “I’ve always tried to keep the good habits that I got into when I was environment minister before, so the use of kind of cups as it were, to be about permanent cups that we can recycle properly or reuse I think is a better way of doing it.
“We just all have to keep thinking about the amount of packaging we endure or food waste and other elements like that.
“So I’ll be getting back very much being a champion for those habits, which is about improving what we can do every day in order to help tackle the environmental challenges we face.”
With the UN warning that the global temperature rise aim of 1.5 degrees being out of reach, there is much to be left desired on change in evironmental policy than a switch to ‘permanent cups’.