Theresa May’s first move proves she doesn’t have ‘Britain’s interests’ at heart whatsoever

In one of her first acts as prime minister, Theresa May has announced plans to abolish the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Despite a recent government report stating Britain must urgently prepare for flooding, heatwaves and food shortages, May’s reckless act proves her ineptness at addressing and handling the key issues Britain and the world faces.

Climate change will now be addressed under the new Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. A name which suggests no concern for environmental issues or challenges, only big business and corporate power.

May’s decision may not come as a surprise to those who know her voting record. She has generally voted against measures to prevent climate change, supported selling off England’s state-owned forests, opposed regulations on fracking, and showed little concern for environmental issues given her often ‘absentee’ record, including not showing up to vote on financial incentives for low carbon electricity generation.

In another blow to environmental campaigners, May has announced that former competitor in the leadership race, Andrea Leadsom, will continue her role in the energy sector, as environment secretary.

Environment secretary

Leadsom has a disastrous record when it comes to addressing climate change. She is openly pro-fracking and believes it is the answer to Britain’s energy problems. Similarly, before being appointed energy minister in 2010, she admitted she actually questioned whether climate change was real, revealing that she understood “the suspicion of those who see climate action as some sort of cover for anti-growth, anti-capitalist, proto-socialism.”

Read on...

While, according to her website, she now acknowledges the need to address climate change, her blog posts actively encourage and celebrate the blocking of wind farm planning applications in her constituency.

Similarly, Leadsom has strong connections to oil companies and investment. From 1999 to 2009, Leadsom worked as a senior investment officer at Invesco, a fund management company. In 2014, Invesco revealed it held £3m of investments in Amerisur Resources, an oil and gas producer, and a further £2.8m of investments in Hunting, which supplies the oil industry, among other fossil fuel interests. Although her involvement in these investment decisions is unclear, Leadsom supports the oil sector and plans to continue investment in this area.


Moreover, May’s announcement is a disastrous result for those aware of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) plans. A leaked document from the EU reveals intentions to include new and dangerous clauses in the proposed energy chapter of the TTIP. Such clauses would require the US and the EU “to eliminate all existing restrictions on the export of natural gas in trade between” the two parties, obligate them to “foster industry self-regulation” on energy efficiency rather than using mandatory requirements that oblige corporations to boost the energy efficiency of their products as well as threaten the protection rules imposed on the destructive extraction of fossil fuels.

While the Brexit vote means Britain plans to leave the EU, several campaigners have suggested that Britain will not be exempt from the TTIP agreements. Mark Dearn, the senior trade campaigner at War on Want said:

While voting to leave the EU would immediately remove you from TTIP, it doesn’t mean that five years from now you remain outside those powers. If TTIP goes through then it is intended as a template for all world trade.


May’s decision has naturally come under attack, especially from environmental campaigners. Friends of the Earth CEO Craig Bennett said:

This is shocking. Less than a day into the job and it appears that the new Prime Minister has already downgraded action to tackle climate change, one of the biggest threats we face.

Even former Labour leader, Ed Miliband has responded:

This is a shocking first move by May which doesn’t set the rest of her leadership plans in good stead. With climate change becoming an ever growing issue by the day, an environment secretary with little concern for anything other than oil and money and a demon sized TTIP agreement threatening to ruin any hope of redemption, what hope is there for the future of our environment?

Get involved

Use Search for the Planet – a search engine which donates all profits to environmental charities!

Sign the campaign against the TTIP agreement.

Write to Andrea Leadsom and make her put the environment first!


Featured image via Flickr/ Policy Exchange

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed