British Housing Minister Michael Gove warned against viewing the fight.
He supported initiatives to promote walking and cycling.
The ruling Conservatives narrowly won a vote opposing levies.
Days after the ruling Conservatives narrowly won a vote by opposing levies for the most polluting vehicles, British Housing Minister Michael Gove issued a warning on Sunday about the danger of seeing the fight against climate change as “a religious crusade.”
Gove said he backed initiatives to encourage people to walk and cycle more, but that some car trips were necessary and low-traffic neighborhoods were a “crude” technique. Gove is set to announce fresh changes to stimulate homebuilding on Monday.
“I think – how can I put this – that is unwise,” he told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, referring to some measures used to limit air pollution, including the opposition Labour party’s move to expand the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
“One of the dangers – I don’t think Labour are alive to this at all – is that if people think that you are treating the cause of the environment as a religious crusade, in which you’re dividing the world into goodies and baddies, then you alienate the support that you need for thoughtful environmentalism.”
Following the unexpected victory of the Conservatives in the so-called by-election in the former seat of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Labour leader Keir Starmer declared that “something very wrong” had occurred if the party’s policies ended up appearing on every leaflet distributed by the ruling party.
The ULEZ’s extension is scheduled by Sadiq Khan, the Labour mayor of the metropolis, for the following month.
The loss in Uxbridge has sparked a debate over the ULEZ, pitting the mayor and health advocates against those who claim they cannot accept another economic hit at a time of rising living costs. Labour did win a hitherto safe Conservative parliamentary seat in northern England on Friday, but the loss there has sparked a debate over the ULEZ.
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