With British PM Tony Blair on his way out sometime in the next year — though he won’t be pinned down on a date — Chancellor of the Exchequer (aka Finance Minister) Gordon Brown is poised to assume leadership of the Labour Party and hence the British government. What will this mean for the environment? The British press is starting to assess.

Sarah Mukherjee of BBC writes that greens haven’t been impressed with Blair’s follow-through on efforts to fight climate change, but they’re “even more worried about Gordon Brown”:

[Green groups] say he doesn’t “get” climate change, and they feel he’s taking an interest only because [conservative leader] David Cameron has made it such a big issue.

They welcomed extra money for green energy in the budget this year, but, they say, it was only a start.

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When green push comes to economic shove, many are wondering how keen the chancellor will be to burnish his environmental credentials, and risk unpopular measures like taxing airlines or significantly increasing road tax on gas guzzling cars.