The environment sector was surprised by Rishi Sunak’s appointment of Therese Coffey as environment secretary.
At a critical time for the environment, with many important and complex laws coming into force soon, including a review of payments to agriculture due this week, many are wondering if the new prime minister will have recent senior experience in the sector. I wanted to choose someone with
There have been personnel changes, including George Eustis, who served as secretary of state under Boris Johnson, and Victoria Prentice, former minister of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), who is popular in the agricultural sector. I hope my name popped up at some point. Some even dreamed that Michael Gove, the driving force behind many post-Brexit environmental legislation that was threatened by Liz Truss, might return.
But despite the fact that she hasn’t shown much interest in the environment in the past, Coffey’s appointment offers some hope. Unlike her predecessor Ranil Jayawardena, she held the role of deputy minister at Defra for her three years.
Sean Spears, CEO of the Green Alliance, an environmental think tank, said: It’s good that she doesn’t have to start from scratch and can build on this experience to make reforms. , which has been a stagnant policy area since then. “
Some of the green Tories expect her to make a positive impact. Philip Dunn, chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, told The Guardian that her experience and the fact that she has a rural seat on the Suffolk coast made her an “excellent appointment.”
A senior agriculture sector source was relieved to see the change and simply said, “Everybody’s better than Ranil.”
Coffey, who was Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, encouraged green investment and said:
Coffey also welcomed Dasgupta’s review on biodiversity and Defra’s natural strategy for 2020, declaring: Our natural strategy, aligned with our climate change strategy, will help us achieve net zero and save the planet. “
If her previous tweets are anything to go by, Coffeey is unlikely to take a tough stance on the carbon footprint of meat. In 2018, in response to a Guardian article on her meat tax benefits, she said:
Her tweets have been controversial in the past. She claims the herbicide is “amazing” and scientist Dr. is.
Coffey faces a difficult task. To create the stability her new boss said she wanted, she turned to the government and her RSPB and National Trust, which were trying to organize mass protests against the government’s planned “war on nature.” There is a need to defuse tensions with environmental groups, including
Jayawardena, who held the post until Tuesday, is believed to have taken a firm stand with the group and told lawmakers that the RSPB was misleading people about its plans to abolish conservation to boost membership numbers. After Brexit, it remains to be seen whether the nature-friendly farming plan Jayawardena planned to undermine will remain intact.
However, Coffey has voiced support for such measures in the past, once stating:
It’s also unclear whether Coffey was keen on deregulation as his predecessor, but he set a high bar. At this year’s Conservative Party conference, Jayawardena argued that the environment secretary’s job is to “leave the farmers alone”.
But it’s not clear if they want to be left alone. Minnette Butters, president of the National Farmers Union, told The Guardian: [the planned scheme to offer payments to farmers based on nature-friendly measures], provide for food production and the environment. “