#11: Conservative Party

October 16, 2008
by phil
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300-350_11_thumbnail_c1gx81Currently, Conservative policies on the environment are neither deep nor broad enough – assessment of the UK’s environmental NGOs in “The Green Standard” report (Sept 2008)

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…

Conservative Party Policies
Quality of Life Review
Green Standard Report
A Greener Shade of Blue? (how can Tory values be used to tackle climate change?)
George Osborne Speech to the Green Alliance (July 2008)

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