This is an extract from the forthcoming collection of essays 'Green conservatism: protecting the environment through open markets'. Similar collections will be published under the Green Alliance's ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green liberalism’ projects as part of the Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK.
There’s no use denying it, the environment is a difficult area for the Conservative Party. And the biggest environmental issue, climate change, presents the greatest difficulties.
Although Margaret Thatcher was the first world leader to warn about the threat of global warming, and although David Cameron famously highlighted the issue too, other prominent Conservatives including Nigel Lawson and Peter Lilley have been outspoken in their opposition to the mainstream agenda on climate change.
Other Conservative or right-leaning voices, both in politics and the media, have gone even further, denying the reality of climate change altogether.