There has been significant outcry from environmental campaigners and fellow politicians over the appointment of Michael Gove as Environment Secretary.
Taking over from Andrea Leadsom after a cabinet shuffle on Sunday, the appointment signalled the return of Mr. Gove’s return to politics after failing to win the Conservative Party leadership election in 2016.
The appointment has been described as “entirely unfit” by the co-leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas, who said that:
It is hard to think of many politicians as ill-equipped for the role of Environment Secretary as Mr Gove.
“His record of voting against measures to halt climate change and his attempt to wipe the subject from our children’s curriculum show him entirely unfit to lead our country in tackling one of the greatest threats we face.
“And as we enter Brexit negotiations, Gove’s past suggestion we scrap vital EU environmental protections becomes ever more concerning.”
Speaking of his own appointment, Gove said that he was “determined to protect our precious environment” and that:
It is an honour to be appointed Environment Secretary at such an important time for our country.
“As we leave the European Union, I am determined to protect our precious environment, support our thriving fishing industry and help our globally-renowned food and farming industries grow more, sell more and export more great British food and drink.”
His recent voting record on environmental issues are as follows:
- Voted against requiring UK Green Investment Bank to act in support of reducing carbon emissions to 20 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050
- Voted against setting a target range for carbon dioxide produced per unit of electricity generated
- Voted against allowing financial incentives for small-scale low-carbon generation plants
- Voted in favour of culling badgers
- Voted against the requiring of permits for hydraulic fracturing activities
- Voted not to bad the exploitation of unconventional petroleum
- Voted against carbon dioxide limits in respect of existing stations fitted with pollution abatement equipment
- Voted twice to apply tax on non-domestic electricity supplies
- Voted against charging the first year rate of vehicle tax based on carbon dioxide emissions
- Voted not to reduce the permitted carbon dioxide emission rate of new homes