Chris Skidmore is the MP who made the UK’s net zero pledge law – but will be stepping down from his position in the next election.
His report and review of how the country is progressing on net zero could be his last chance to leave a legacy on climate action.
Given his current role as net zero czar during Liz Truss’ short time as Prime Minister, Mr Skidmore said: “The report is maybe one of the only things that exists as a legacy from the Truss administration.”
“We don’t have the cockpit of the COP26 presidency anymore and people still look to the UK to come up with the solutions to shared problems,” he added.
Since COP27 was held in Egypt, Alok Sharma has handed over his position as COP President and Boris Johnson – a large flag flier for net zero – was forced to leave his role as PM.
These changes have seen Mr Skidmore remain one of the few leaders for climate change in the Conservative Party, other than Climate Minister Graham Stuart.
The net zero czar has shared his worries that inaction on climate change from the Tories will see them suffer a loss of votes in the next general election, after Labour’s continued push on renewables and a clean future if the party is elected.
His review has called for government to step up on its net zero pledges and ensure that policy aligns with its commitments.
“It’s a classic decision where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,” he said. Adding that a “a consistent single voice from government” is needed to steer the country back on track.
Recent approval of a coal mine in Cumbria, a desire to revert to fracking under Liz Truss and indecision on nuclear have been some of the “mistakes that have been made – and the cost has been borne by the British people.”
He is hopeful that before he leaves his role as an MP, he can help shape policy that will impact the next generation.