The British Environment Minister closest to former Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned on June 30, accusing the current administration of indifference toward climate issues.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, according to Zac Goldsmith, is “simply uninterested” in the environment.
“This government’s apathy in the face of the greatest challenge we have ever faced makes continuing in my current role untenable,” he wrote in a resignation letter posted on social media.
It has been a privilege to have been able to make a difference to a cause I have been committed to for as long as I remember. But this govt’s apathy in the face of the greatest challenge we face makes continuing in my role untenable. Reluctantly I am therefore stepping down pic.twitter.com/KDJKN3i6ER
— Zac Goldsmith (@ZacGoldsmith) June 30, 2023
He stated that Britain has “obviously withdrawn from the international stage and abandoned its leadership on climate and nature.” Mr. Goldsmith, Mr. Sunak, and Mr. Johnson all belong to the ruling Conservative Party.
Johnson appointed Mr. Goldsmith, a 48-year-old conservationist, to the unelected House of Lords before Johnson resigned nearly a year ago in the wake of ethics scandals.
Eight of the former prime minister’s allies faced criticism from lawmakers the day before his resignation for attempting to sabotage a committee looking into whether Johnson lied to Parliament about illegal government parties during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Privileges Committee determined that Johnson misled lawmakers and recommended a 90-day suspension from Parliament. However, Johnson avoided this disgrace by resigning as a lawmaker after the committee informed him of its findings in advance.
The panel also reported that Goldsmith and other Johnson allies exerted “improper pressure” on committee members and waged “vociferous attacks” against the committee via social media, radio, and television.
Following this week’s publication of a report by the British government’s climate advisers, which stated that the nation had “lost its clear global leadership position on climate action” because it had not achieved its “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions target, Mr. Goldsmith voiced his criticism.