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Easy being Green? How our MPs' voting records stand up to the Kermit Test

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This week at the UN General Assembly in New York, Boris Johnson announced - to bemused silence from fellow world leaders - that Kermit the Frog was wrong when he sang “It’s not easy being green”, declaring instead that to be green is “easy, lucrative and right.”

The prime minister was burnishing his green credentials ahead of the next major global climate change summit, COP26, which the UK will host in Glasgow beginning at the end of next month.

In light of this, we examined a cross-section of votes by Norfolk MPs on climate-related legislation which has come before them in recent years.

Green activists in Norfolk have questioned whether our MPs will represent worried constituents and put pressure on the government to achieve real progress at COP26.

It comes as Lynn and West Norfolk Council voted unanimously earlier this month to declare a “climate emergency”.

Rupert Read, a former Extinction Rebellion spokesperson from Norwich, said: “We’re very vulnerable here in East Anglia, to sea level rise but before that to flooding and drought, and in that context the performance of our MPs has to be judged as - by and large - completely lamentable.

“The main exception is Clive Lewis who has a pretty good record, probably because he’s under pressure from Green Party voters in Norwich.

“But the Conservatives, they support business as usual really. And business as usual is slowly but surely destroying our planetary home, destroying our children’s future and it’ll destroy East Anglia if it isn’t stopped."

In 2019 the government amended the Climate Change Act to commit the UK to achieving net zero by 2050, compared to the previous target of an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050.

It has introduced some policy initiatives to meet net zero, but the Climate Change Committee has said the UK is currently not on track to meet its carbon budget targets in 2025 and 2030.

A government spokesman said: “Our commitment to tackling climate change is self-evident with the UK having cut emissions faster than any G7 country over the past three decades.

“We are embarking on a major programme of investment to cut pollution, ramp up........

© Eastern Daily Press

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