February 10, 2020
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Tory MP Accused Of Mocking Children Concerned About Climate Change
A Tory MP has been accused of mocking children for being concerned about climate change after tabling laws to help reduce “anxiety” about the environment in schools.
Sir Christopher Chope’s private member’s bill would “make provision for guidance to schools about reducing anxiety about environmental concerns among pupils and staff”.
The veteran backbencher, who was knighted by Theresa May, has previously branded moves to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as “virtue signalling”.
He has also gained a reputation for scuppering backbenchers’ legislation and has tabled 41 private member’s bills in what will be seen as his latest protest against the system which sees them debated on a limited number of Fridays.Young people are quite right to be really anxious about what’s going onChope’s bill is highly unlikely to ever become law but former shadow environment secretary Kerry McCarthy said it was “pretty unedifying”.
The Labour MP told HuffPost UK: “In the context of everybody else recognising there’s a climate emergency and we’re in the driving seat because we’re hosting COP26, we haven’t put our foot down on the accelerator yet and we need to.
“And then this just shows that he doesn’t acknowledge the seriousness of the situation, he’s basically making a bit of a mockery of it.
“This isn’t something you would need to do through a bill if he was worried about it.
“It shows the lack of seriousness with which some Tory MPs actually treat this issue.
“It’s building into that whole thing about ‘people are snowflakes’.
“Young people are quite right to be really anxious about what’s going on, especially when the government isn’t showing the leadership that’s needed.
“It’s pretty unedifying for a Tory MP to be mocking them.”
Chope has also tabled legislation calling for an “independent audit of the costs and benefits” of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
He also has a bill to reduce anxiety about the environment “among the general population”, and for audits of the costs and benefits of decarbonising road transport.
Environmental concerns are at the top of his list and so are more likely to be debated.
But Chope also wants to tighten up human rights laws, privatise the BBC and Channel 4, criminalise illegal immigrants, limit protections for bats, and restrict foreigners’ access to benefits and public services.
None of them are likely to become law.
A year ago, he opposed a bill that would have aided the prevention of female genital mutilation of children.
He also deployed the same blocking tactic to prevent a bill aimed at making upskirting a criminal offence.
Chope has been contacted for comment.Related... Boris Johnson's Scotland To Northern Ireland Bridge Might Actually Happen Boris Johnson's Brexit Trade Plan Will Hit UK Economy, Experts Warn Sinn Fein Demands Place In Irish Government After Election Success
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