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Leadership | It has been a busy week for Rishi Sunak. On Friday, more than 50 environmental organisations wrote to the Prime Minister to warn him they would “not stand by while politicians use the environment as a political football”. The open letter referred to “baffling” reports that the government was considering watering down its green commitments, at the very moment that millions were suffering from the effects of extreme weather. The letter calls instead for “courage and leadership”, and requests an urgent meeting to discuss the government’s response. The BBC, the Times and the Guardian covered the news. Subsequently, on Monday, Sunak announced that the government would approve 100 new North Sea oil and gas licences, a decision he insists is “entirely consistent” with net zero targets. He also confirmed support for a multi-million-pound carbon capture project in Aberdeenshire to help offset emissions. Unsurprisingly, the announcements have been met with a fierce backlash, from opposition parties, environmental campaigners, and even the prime minister’s own daughters. More than 600 scientists and academics have written to Sunak to urge him to rethink the licences for the sake of global climate change efforts.
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