The Independent reports: Theresa May has been accused of being Donald Trump’s “mole” in Europe after leaked documents showed the UK attempted to water down EU policies designed to tackle climate change.
While other European politicians have made clear to the Republican billionaire that his denial of climate science is a problem, the Prime Minister has remained resolutely silent on the issue.
Her visit to Washington – when the two leaders were pictured holding hands – was widely regarded as an attempt to build a strong relationship with Mr Trump, despite concerns about his attitudes towards women, migrants, Islam, Vladimir Putin’s Russia and other issues.
The leaked documents, obtained by Greenpeace’s Energydesk, show the UK tried to make a policy designed to improve energy efficiency – reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making goods cheaper to run for consumers – voluntary rather than mandatory.
It also essentially argued EU member states should be allowed to make no progress at all towards a 2030 target on renewable energy until the last moment.
Barry Gardiner, the shadow International Trade Secretary, who speaks on climate change issues as a result of Ms May’s decision to scrap the dedicated climate change Cabinet post, told The Independent: “After the G7 [meeting], the word was put out that six countries were on track, pursuing the objective of the Paris Agreement. Only one country, America, was out of step.
“That simply has been proven not to be the case by this leak, which shows Donald Trump actually has a mole within the EU and that mole is the UK.
“The UK is, behind the scenes, trying to water down the commitments and make them voluntary instead of mandatory.”
He said the changes proposed by the UK were not “cosmetic” – to make targets “aspirational”, rather than legally enforceable, was “ridiculous”. [Continue reading…]