Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Where Does Boris Johnson Stand on Climate Change?

New UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been compared to Donald Trump because of his climate denial, racism and penchant for lying. The two men also share similar stances on immigration and a common disdain for journalists. Johnson is a conservative who is best known for his populist antics. His support for brexit helped to get him elected by an underwhelming 0.2 percent of the population.

Like the populist leader in the US, Johnson has a track record of rejecting climate science. The column he penned for the Daily Telegraph in the wake of the signing of the Paris Climate agreement will haunt him for the rest of his political career.

"Whatever is happening to the weather at the moment" Johnson wrote, "it is nothing to do with the conventional doctrine of climate change."

His voting record in 2016 says a great deal. He voted against setting a carbon reduction target and he also voted against a measure to require the energy industry to adopt a strategy for carbon capture and storage.

Since then Johnson claims to have changed his tune and he has recently come out in support of Theressa May's net zero emissions target. When he was Foreign Secretary, he even indicated that he would, "continue to lobby the U.S. at all levels to continue to take climate change extremely seriously."

Despite this apparent change of heart, Desmog reports that Johnson maintains close ties to the UK's climate science denial network.

Like Trump, Johnson commonly speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He has claimed to be sympathetic to the objectives of the Extinction Rebellion while at the same time calling activists "smug" and suggested they should be lecturing China not the UK.

A panel of Guardian analysts seem to share the view that Johnson will not be able to follow his talk with action.  Hannah Jane Parkinson may have got it right when she said Johnson is, "a man who makes Machiavelli look misunderstood and Pinocchio button-nosed."

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