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New King, new PM, old crisis

Liz Truss - official portrait
Liz Truss by photographer Simon Dawson - OGL 3

The country has experienced an incredible amount of change in a short space of time.

Liz Truss was appointed our new Prime Minister on 6th September by a Head of State who passed away two days later.

All this in the middle of an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis caused largely by an exponential rise in the cost of energy.

One crisis Truss will not address, though, is the climate crisis. In fact, she seems bent on making it worse.

Truss’s solution to the cost-of-living crisis - protect the energy companies and make the consumer pay - is straight out of the right wing Tory playbook. The Government will borrow to soften our rising energy bills now, but we’ll be paying this back for decades to come.

But more worrying for us and the planet is Truss’s favouring of fossil fuels over renewables.

A former employee of oil giant Shell, she has already announced plans to allow the recommencement of fracking, award 100 new licences to oil and gas companies to expand production and a cut in the green levy.

Her rather eccentric comments about solar farms during the Tory Party leadership contest made it quite clear that she is in denial about the environmental catastrophe already playing out before our eyes in the form of increasingly regular extreme weather events.

Not a word about insulating homes and businesses.

Will the accession to the throne of Charles III - who championed the environment throughout his long apprenticeship as Prince of Wales - temper the extreme pro-carbon policies of his Prime Minister?

Sadly, as a structurally weak Head of State in our constitution, his latitude for action and public expression of opinion on climate and other environmental issues will be far more restricted than when he was heir.

Even if he expresses strong green opinions during his private meetings with his ministers, he will most likely not want to create a constitutional crisis, or rock the very unstable ship of state, or undermine his democratically elected government.

The only solution to the crises we face is a Green Government, one committed to breaking our dependence on carbon and reducing the social inequalities so starkly demonstrated by Liz Truss’s support of big business at the expense of the people she is meant to serve. People like you and me.

No surprise that one of the biggest donors to her leadership campaign, Fitriani Hay, is the wife of a former BP executive. She donated £100,000.