Downing Street hopes the new hire will make Sunak sound more authentic on environmental issues, the Guardian reports.
Rishi Sunak has reportedly appointed a vegan as his head of environmental policy.
According to the Guardian, No 10 has approached Meera Vadher to overhaul the prime minister’s image on the environment.
Vadher is a former special advisor, and before news of her appointment hit headlines, her social media bio stated that she is a vegan with a “strong desire to smash the jargon and simplify politics and current affairs.”
It appears, however, that she has since updated her bio to “Ex Government adviser. Strong desire to simplify politics and current affairs.”
Her Instagram is also set to private, which means speculation about her being a vegan remains unverified.
Vadher is expected to take on her new role next year. She first entered politics as a parliamentary assistant in 2011. She was later employed in regional politics, including working for the West Midlands mayor before joining the Department for Health and Social Care to work on the NHS test-and-trace system during the coronavirus outbreak.
Post COVID, she worked for the Department for Transport’s green schemes and was even a part of the UK’s COP26 delegation.
Although Vadher said she has not yet signed a contract and is still employed in her latest role as a management consultant for Flint Global, the Guardian stated that ‘Downing Street hopes she will make Sunak sound more authentic on environmental issues and help green policy issues cut through using social media and better messaging’.
Sunak and his stance on green issues
Britain’s newest Prime Minister is by no means an environmental champion.
As a lawmaker, first elected in 2015, Sunak has usually been cold towards implementing measures to curb emissions. Moreover, as a finance minister from 2020 to 2022, he also reduced funding for key energy efficiency projects.
He is not a vegan and apparently doesn’t endorse the view of reducing meat for the planet. Before becoming prime minister, he told Sky News that he “wasn’t telling people to eat less meat.”
His comments while standing in a meat market were in response to calls by Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific advisor , who said that eating less meat is “part of the solution” to tackling the climate crisis.
Sunak also tried to excuse himself from the UN climate summit COP27 that took place in Egypt earlier this month.
The prime minister initially stated that he wasn’t planning to attend the annual climate conference despite the fact that the summit is where global leaders gather to make serious commitments to meet environmental targets.
After a great deal of criticism from the public as well as international censure, Sunak changed his stance and announced that he would attend COP27 “to deliver on Glasgow’s legacy of building a secure and sustainable future.”
Will Sunak champion a pro-green agenda?
Despite his not so favourable decisions for the planet, campaigners are hopeful that Sunak might just bring the UK’s climate fight back on track.
They maintain a cautious optimism that Sunak will deliver on some key areas of climate policy. He has always been eager about the business world’s role in the energy transition. He has pledged $17 billion to support London in becoming a “hub for green finance”.
In November 2021, he also announced a world-first scheme to compel UK-based companies to put out net-zero transition plans. He said at the time that the UK “has a responsibility to lead the way” on financing climate action.
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