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Net zero isn't act of economic harm, Theresa May says

And it came up again during Mrs May's speech at a fringe event organised by the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) on Monday evening.

Climate warning

The former prime minister said net zero, which means no longer adding to the total amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, "isn't a cost to be minimised".

Mrs May told party activists: "It shouldn't be seen as that. It's the growth opportunity of the century.

"It isn't an act of economic harm, because we've already shown we can cut emissions and grow our economy at the same time."

She echoed Mr Sunak's view that "we must take people with us" on the journey to net zero, rather than "finger-wagging" and telling people they cannot fly or eat meat.

But in a warning to her party, Mrs May said "we must understand that the worst thing that can happen is to give Labour the lead on net zero".

Labour has promised to spend £28bn a year on green projects by the end of its first term in government, if the party wins the next general election.

Branding Labour "socialists" with a "bureaucratic" approach to net zero, Mrs May said the Conservatives must not "let Labour squander the economic opportunity that's ahead of us".


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