Fossil fuel companies have worked for decades to shape attitudes and undermine science. The crisis dictates that they must now be confrontedThe huge differences in the voting records of MPs on climate issues, revealed in the Guardian’s rankings today, should immediately disabuse anyone of the notion that Britain’s elected politicians are united – apart from a handful of contrarians – in their efforts to limit global heating.
True, a consensus exists in the UK and most of Europe with regard to the necessity of cutting emissions. That is in stark contrast to countries such as the US and Australia, where leading politicians deny climate science and promote fossil fuel extraction. But acceptance of the evidence that shows the next decade will be crucial for efforts to restrict global temperature rises to 1.5C is the basis for action, not a substitute for it. Politicians should be judged on what they do. And our research shows that the voting record of most Conservative MPs over the past decade, on 16 parliamentary divisions ranging from fracking to renewable energy subsidies and vehicle emissions, is abysmal. They are five times more likely to vote against climate measures than MPs from other parties, with the prime minister, Boris Johnson, among several dozen MPs to get the lowest possible score of zero.