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Boris Johnson’s Ambition for Climate Deal Hit by Tory Party Infighting

  • Conservative backbenchers question costs of net zero goal
  • Johnson’s spokeswoman makes gaffes over dishwashers and cars
Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

Photographer: Justin Tallis/WPA Pool/Getty Images

In less than 100 days Boris Johnson will host world leaders for a round of critical climate change talks. It’s supposed to be the moment when the U.K. prime minister showcases Britain’s post-Brexit global influence.

But instead, the conference in Glasgow –- known as COP26 -- risks being undermined by the lack of progress on climate policies at home and resistance in his own Conservative Party.

Johnson’s government has repeatedly delayed a series of key policy papers outlining plans to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, including decarbonizing heat, and spreading costs fairly. As a result, the U.K. remains way off track in meeting the goal, according to its own advisers. A Downing Street spokeswoman said the strategies will be published this year.

Adding to Johnson’s headache, a group of his backbenchers will launch a campaign next month arguing the U.K. is going too fast in its decarbonization policies, putting an unfair burden on regular people.