King’s speech – Friends of the Earth reaction

Responding to the King’s speech, which marks the start of the parliamentary year and serves as an opportunity for the government to set out its priorities for the coming months, Jamie Peters, climate coordinator at Friends of the Earth, said:

“If there was a prize for political posturing, Rishi Sunak would win best in show. The King’s speech offered few surprises and very little of substance in yet another display of clickbait politics. His continued obsession with undermining green policies is out of step with voters of all stripes who want to protect the environment for future generations and left nothing to inspire hope among the millions of people facing another winter of sky-high energy bills.

“With the cost living crisis deepening and the climate and nature emergencies accelerating, Sunak could have used this moment to set out strong laws to boost the economy, cut harmful emissions and bring down our energy bills for good. Instead, the Prime Minister chose to side with the fossil fuel industry by offering more hand-outs – even if largely symbolic – at a time when so many people are struggling to make ends meet. The fact remains that more North Sea oil and gas will do nothing to reduce bills or improve energy security.

“Aside from this blatant injustice, recent polling tells us that delaying vital climate and environmental action remains deeply unpopular. The PM has preached pragmatism, but it’s his lack of long-term thinking and misjudgment of the public mood that could cost him dearly at next year’s election.”