One of the more alarming elements of the ongoing insular process to select a new leader of the Conservative Party has been the rush of most the candidates to ditch green policies.

Whilst it seems that most will say anything, no matter how nonsensical - for example pledges to cut taxes whilst committing to spend more - the attack on green issues betrays a climate sceptic mindset.

The attitude of the present candidates seems to be that the planet can wait, put the problem on the back burner until the country can afford to deal with climate and biodiversity disasters.

That’s extraordinary given the recent heatwave that saw infrastructure crumbling and much of the country on fire.

Already the shift is beginning from stopping climate change to dealing with the consequences

There is a remarkable lack of political will to act on the environmental crisis.

Nationally, the present Prime Minister talks the talk but what about delivery?

Local authorities declare climate emergencies, draw up policy responses but then struggle to fund them - often due to financial restraint from central government.

As people have sweltered in 40-degree heat, one does have to wonder what is needed for the penny to drop.

The climate and biodiversity crisis are here and now. Heatwaves, wild fires and floods are spreading across the planet. The rich world can no longer takes its immoral stance that it is not really happening to them.

It is now four years since the International Climate Committee’s report declared that there were 12 years to address the problems or it would be too late.

Over those four years there has been much hot air expended, committing to targets but a universal failure to deliver.

Now is the time for action, not more vacuous talk.

The general public recognise the need for action though, are sometimes less happy to accept the changes this will mean in their own personal lives.

What no one should accept is a head in the sand approach as the fires come closer and the waters rise higher.

That is something the new Conservative leader and others would do well to heed.

Paul Donovan is a Redbridge Labour councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See