Fiona Harvey 13/4/21
Boris Johnson’s government is “too cosy” with vested interests in business to take strong action on the climate crisis, the author of a report on “the polluting elite” has warned.
Peter Newell, a professor of international relations at the University of Sussex, said: “We are never going to have change while these actors are so close to government. The government is not willing to take on these interests as it has close ties to big industries, including fossil fuels. There is a definite reluctance to take them on.”
He warned: “The beneficiaries of the status quo are in no rush to change. If we are serious about the Paris agreement, we have to disrupt that cosy relationship between business and government.”
Recent scandals such as David Cameron’s lobbying on behalf of the finance company Greensill had shone a light on the government’s links to business, he said. “But the problem goes much deeper, such as directorships [of companies, taken by politicians], the revolving doors for ministers, and the internships by which energy companies send their employees to work inside the civil service on policy,” he said.