Net zero by 2030 is the only way to save the planet and lead the next industrial revolution, according to the leader of a new political party standing in Thursday’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election.
Ed Gemmell, who formed The Climate Party in September, is running on the single issue of decarbonising the economy by 2030.
He said: “If we bring the target for the whole country forward to 2030, it unleashes innovation none of us can imagine.
“This is quite clearly the industrial opportunity of the last two centuries. Countries are going to get prosperous from moving early.
“You don’t need a degree from Oxford or Cambridge to work out that’s the way the world’s going.”
Gemmell, 56, a councillor in Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire, claims he had “an ecological conversion” in June 2019 after a challenge from one of his sons, who was 12 at the time.
His son said to him: ‘You talk about it so much, there’s now an election. Go for it.’
Gemmell stood at the 2019 General Election in the Wycombe seat won by Conservative Steve Baker.
He explained: “I didn’t know anything about politics or really about climate, but I forced almost all the hustings to be on climate and environment.
“By the end Steve Baker was declaring: ‘We’re all environmentalists’.”
Gemmell has never voted in a general election as he lived abroad for a long time, including 25 years in Prague.
But he is back fighting the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election to force the major parties to change.
Sending a net zero message
Gemmell aims to stand Cimate Party candidates in 110 seats in the next general election but says he’ll step back if major parties adopt the net zero by 2030 target.
It’s this view on the electoral system along with his pro-growth ideology that separates Gemmell’s party from the Greens.
He added: “Every vote we get is a success because that’s a signal to the two big parties.
“It’s a vote you lost because you aren’t doing enough on climate.
“Proportional representation would be great but we’re not going to get it in time to save the climate so I don’t even worry myself with it.”
Just stop oil
Gemmell also has sympathy with the beliefs of Just Stop Oil, if not their methods.
He said: “We’re a political party because none of us want to lie on the ground or stick ourselves to something.
“I wouldn’t do it and wouldn’t recommend anybody does it. That doesn’t mean I don’t agree with the premise of stopping oil.
“The first thing you’ve got to do is stop digging for fossil fuels. No tax breaks, no incentives, no subsidies for fossil fuels instantly.
“But I don’t think you get the result you want unless you’ve got people on the inside with their feet under the table.”
Photo credit: Jenny Garbis