Environment Secretary Zac Goldsmith said the ongoing gasoline crisis was a “good lesson” for the need to end dependence on fossil fuels.
In an interview with The Independent, Lord Goldsmith said that queues at gas stations amid current bottlenecks should serve as a reminder of the need to accelerate the move to electric vehicles.
He also denied fears that current difficulties could make it more difficult to find political and public support for an agreement to tackle the climate emergency at the upcoming Cop26 Summit in Glasgow.
Lord Goldsmith acknowledged that the petrol shortage was a “crisis” with serious consequences for many businesses and people.
But he added, “I don’t think it harms the dynamics we’re seeing in terms of climate. It’s a pretty good lesson on the need to break free from fossil fuel dependency. You don’t see the same problems with people who have electric vehicles. “
Lord Goldsmith also condemned skeptics, including within his own Conservative Party, who, in the run-up to the Cop26, organized a “fight” against the pursuit of net zero carbon emissions.
The Independent said former ministers Steve Baker and Esther McVey were among a group of rebellious Tory MPs led by Craig Mackinlay who mobilized against the costly measures, while ex-Chancellor Nigel Lawson called them “implausible”.
“There are people in society, there are people in the Conservative Party, people in politics who are skeptical and who do not support the government’s efforts to secure this transition,” he said.
“I think they are very in the minority and I think science is proving they are wrong. Extraordinary events prove wrong every day.
Lord Goldsmith also defended Boris Johnson for his commitments regarding the climate emergency.
He said the prime minister, who has admitted a conversion from climate skepticism, speaks with “authority … and genuine passion” on the issue and that progress in this area has been made “through his intervention”.
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