Reports suggest that Government officials may be mulling over plans to “scale back” climate change efforts in a bid to make room for post-Brexit trade deals with Africa, Latin America and other nations further afield.
The rumours abound after civil service documents were photographed on a train in recent weeks, which are thought to have included the speech notes of Tim Hitchens, the director-general of economic and consular affairs at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
According to reports, the speech captured by the photographer – which was in the possession of a senior civil servant at the Department for International Trade (DIT) – is expected to be delivered later this month.
An article in The Times suggests that Mr Hutchins will tell trade negotiators and diplomats that they must consider a ‘change of focus’ in order for Britain to fully realise Prime Minister Theresa May’s vision of the UK as a “great, global trading nation”.
The documents photographed suggest that officials are considering plans to scale down concerns over both climate change and the trade in illegal wildlife.
A report on Solarpowerportal.co.uk has suggested that Government officials could effectively be attempting to work out “how ditch the UK’s renewable energy targets while remaining in Europe’s energy market”.
It says: “Considering the current Government’s approach to clean energy (taken up by Cameron and cemented by May), it’s hardly surprising that this should be the case. Despite a recent survey suggesting the contrary, Conservative politicians in any case seem uncomfortable with low carbon technologies”.
The scathing comments come shortly after a report published by the National Grid entitled Future Energy Scenarios suggested that the UK had limited chance of meeting its target for renewable energy of 15 per cent through the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).
It’s report read: “We believe the progress required in the heat and transport sector is beyond what can be achieved on time”.