We examine the Tories’ climate change policies in an interview with Zac Goldsmith – former editor of The Ecologist magazine who was invited by David Cameron in 2006 to co-chair the party’s Quality of Life policy review.
Here are some of the key climate-related policies that appear on the Conservative Party website:
- No third runway at Heathrow
- Constructing a high speed rail line between Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and London starting in 2015 and completed by 2027
- Build new roads (yes, really)
- A “fair fuel stabiliser” tax so that when the price of petrol goes up, petrol tax goes down
- Feed-in Tariffs to encourage renewable energy and combined heat and power production by householders, businesses and public buildings etc.
- An emissions performance standard for new electricity plants that would rule out coal plants without carbon capture and storage (CCS)
- At least three CCS demonstration projects over the next 5-10 years
- A rise in the proportion of green taxes, with revenues used to reduce taxes on families
- Offer Green ISAs – tax-free savings for individuals which are invested in green projects
- Create a Green Environmental Market – a trading market for green technology companies
We ask Zac about:
- The Tories favoured approach to the international deal
- The loophole in the UK Cilmate Change Bill which allows government to buy its way out of reducing emissions at home
- How the Tories would tackle demand – which the Tyndall Centre says is the most critical aspect of climate policy
- Why current Tory policies would allow for an increase in aviation
- How the proposed high speed rail line would be funded
- Whether he is disappointed that so few of the Quality of Life Review’s recommendations have been taken up
- Whether the Tory’s dislike of regulation and public investment makes them ill-equipped for tackling climate change
Apologies for failing to raise the critical issue of Agrofuels…
We continue our look at the UK political parties climate policies by zeroing in on the Greens. If the Green Party have the policies to deal with the climate crisis and the other parties policies fall short or even head in the wrong direction, why are they not a more prominent feature on the UK’s political landscape? The desire of the party not to be left out in the political wilderness at this critical time is the principal rationale behind the decision to elect their first leader at their conference in London earlier this month – in the person of Caroline Lucas.
We speak to Jonathan Essex a Green Party member from Surrey and the Party’s former campaigns co-ordinator, about the Party’s climate policies.
- energy independence and a zero-carbon Britain by 2050
- an efficiency standard for new power stations that would rule out unabatted coal
- no nuclear power
- no replacement for our Trident nuclear arsenal
- green taxes
- investment in public transport including a high speed rail network and complete electrification of the network
- virtually no airport expansion
The Lib Dems have also been actively working to strengthen the UK’s Climate Change Bill. But has the profile of their green policies taken a back seat as the economy takes a downward turn? We travel to Bournemouth to their party conference to interview the party’s shadow secretaries for the environment – Steve Webb MP – and transport – Norman Baker MP.