Today’s news is that Andrea Leadsom has dropped out, so Theresa May will be the new Prime Minister, taking over from David Cameron on Wednesday.

A lot of nonsense is being talked about the need for a general election, from people with short memories who’ve forgotten that both Gordon Brown and John Major became PM without an election, and who’ve also forgotten that we now have fixed term parliaments, so the PM can’t just call an election.

So what are Theresa May’s views on climate change, climate policy and the environment?

The Independent declares that “she is not a green” and quotes her as saying in her speech today that
“I want to see an energy policy that emphasises the reliability of supply and lower costs for users.”

Her voting record can be seen at the TheyWorkForYou website, which reports that she:

  • Generally voted against measures to prevent climate change
  • Generally voted for lower taxes on fuel for motor vehicles
  • Has never voted on financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation methods
  • Generally voted against greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas

Looking in detail at her voting on climate policy reveals that in the last year she has

  • Voted against setting a decarbonisation target for the UK
  • Voted against requiring a strategy for carbon capture and storage
  • Voted to apply the Climate Change Levy tax to electricity generated from renewables

All this must be worrying news for climate policy advocates.


  1. From speech by Theresa May, April 25, 2016. Impressive

    “For the reasons I listed earlier, Britain is big enough and strong enough to be a success story in or out of the EU.  But the question is not whether we can survive Brexit: it is whether Brexit would make us better off. And that calculation has to include not only the medium to long-term effects but the immediate risks as well.”

    “And I want to emphasise that I think we should stay inside the EU not because I think we’re too small to prosper in the world, not because I am pessimistic about Britain’s ability to get things done on the international stage.  I think it’s right for us to remain precisely because I believe in Britain’s strength, in our economic, diplomatic and military clout, because I am optimistic about our future, because I believe in our ability to lead and not just follow.”

    “But I know what a difficult decision this is going to be for a lot of people.  I know, because of the conversations I have with my constituents every Saturday.  Because of the discussions I’ve had with members of the public – and members of the Conservative Party – up and down the country.  And because I myself have already gone through the process of carefully weighing up what is in Britain’s interests, now and in the future, before making my decision.  Ultimately, this is a judgement for us all, and it’s right that people should take their time and listen to all the arguments.”


  2. Thanks for that information on May. She will have her hands full with Brexit. But if there are serious electricity disruptions next winter–as appears increasingly likely given zero safety margin save for shuttered end of life conventional generation–she may find it easy (given her climate stance) to reverse UK’s suicidal CCA and implement a sensible energy policy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s good that there is nobody in the position with past promises to stand by on climate change. May seems a fine candidate. She’ll be able to put our security ahead of fluffy ideals.


  4. Anyone else noticing ‘climate change’ seems to be slowly entering the conversation again after an absence during which matters of real importance took centre stage? It’s almost as if the blob is retreating to its safe space, getting back to the much more comforting pastime of talking to itself and re-assuring itself it is still relevant and important. What are the chances this graph is going to start climbing again?


    And what are the chances Teresa May will contribute to the graph going back up? It’s what you talk about when you get power.


  5. Reported at Climate Home, Lord Deben is putting a brave face on, or perhaps fooling himself.
    “incoming prime minister’s silence on climate change should not be taken as scepticism”.
    They have posted my comment about her voting record, which was in fact inspired by one their tweets.

    James Murray at Business Green also has a post on May but it’s mostly vague and speculative.

    Carbon Brief had to go back to 2008 to find Theresa may saying something about climate change that they liked.


  6. And let’s face it, most people still worried about AGW back in 2008. I don’t mind if the incomer believes in CAGW or not, I just want them to make sensible decisions based on what’s best for the UK. At the moment it’s about reducing energy costs, strengthening manufacturing and technology. Let the countries at the top of the economic tree take the lead for a change.


  7. The bit of May’s speech I heard was all about the poor and underprivileged. It could have been spoken by Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn or Jean-Luc Melenchon, the French far left presidential candidate. But unlike those three, she diidn’t once mention green jobs, investment in renewables, or saving the planet. Interesting times.

    Liked by 1 person

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