Rishi Sunak in environmental U-turn to appeal to populist floating voter
In what many pundits in the ESG vertical see as political suicide, the invisible man of politics Rishi Sunak has now clearly shown that he wants to slow down on policies that will help the planet from continuing to burn. By adding half a decade to some Green targets, even though large car manufacturers are going electric by 2030; and although a large slice of the electorate want a better planet for themselves and their children, it would seem that Rishi Sunak has taken fright or been pressured to change government policy.
Putting aside that very late in the day the most senior politician in the land is having a re-think on major policy that affects hundreds of thousands of jobs, economic investment and will impact on the health of the nation, it just seems utter lunacy to be so out of step with all the stakeholders tied up in this complex ecosystem. Not to mention the amount of supporters of the government who will now be looking elsewhere to other who are more sympathetic to their cause.
Do not get me wrong, I actually think that Labour was correct in rowing back on all that noise about Green industries being the new power base of the UK, as in reality though there is a need to re-plumb the whole infrastructure of energy, pollution etc, quite simply these new industries do as yet not exist. Yes multi-millions are pouring into new enterprises seeking to solve some big climate problems, but as yet there are not mature workable solutions looking to employ a vast workforce anytime soon.
All of that said, what Rishi Sunak has done by unpicking his blonde predecessor’s core policies on the way the UK should be treating the planet, is to create uncertainty at the precise point all nations are committed to getting to Net-Zero in the quickest time frame possible.
Indecision is often worse than making the wrong decision, as it is costly. Rishi seems unable to get the big calls right, with major infrastructure projects like HS2 about to be axed with Euston no longer on its rail map, and the Manchester/Birmingham route likely to falter. Which will not only leave the land scarred for nothing, but will neither be seen as a failure or a success, rather an idea that ran out of cash and steam, maybe a fitting railway epitaph, but a tricky one to get past an electorate likely to be voting in the next 12-months.
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Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.