After Cop28, know this: Sunak and his rightwing allies around the world have no interest in saving our planet | Diyora Shadijanova

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When Tories row back on previous climate pledges, they are merely marching in lockstep with extreme parties across Europe

Not only did Rishi Sunak spend more time travelling to Cop28 on his private jet than attending the conference itself, he also delivered a speech at the Dubai summit doubling down on the decision to abandon crucial climate policies on heat pumps and energy efficiency, as revealed in his September announcement. All this while using the diminishing strength of the UK’s green credentials as a shield. These actions lay bare the troubling path the Conservatives have chosen ahead of the next general election. But across western states, abandoning long-held climate commitments is becoming the norm for rightwing parties.

In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’ Freedom party has secured the most votes in the country’s recent general election and wants to undo the green transition. In New Zealand, the National party has formed a coalition with the populist NZ First party and ACT, a rightwing party that wants to repeal the Zero Carbon Act. In Germany, the AfD, the far-right party that is second in national opinion polls, has previously called for an end to all climate action efforts. In Canada, polls show that the Conservatives, who voted not to recognise the climate crisis as real two years ago, would win the upcoming 2025 election if it were held today.

Diyora Shadijanova is a journalist and writer

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