Conservative Diary

« Differences between George Osborne and David Cameron shouldn't be exaggerated | Main | Scottish Tories stuck at 1997 levels of support »

'We are still green' insist Tories in four speeches push

Green-image In advance of the Copenhagen summit on climate change George Osborne will today spearhead renewed attempts by the Tory leadership to insist that the party remains committed to deeper and deeper environmentalism. Writing in The Independent the Shadow Chancellor notes a coordinated green offensive by him and other top colleagues:

"This week, I'm one of four Conservative Shadow Cabinet ministers making speeches on climate change, talking about how we will take action to cut emissions and green our economy. This unprecedented series of speeches is a powerful demonstration that our commitment to the environment is as strong as ever."

At the beginning of the Cameron leadership the green issue was dominant in the party's decontamination strategy. Since then 'green conservatism' has taken second place to 'gentler conservatism' as the party leadership invested more and more time in social justice. The green message has been renewed, however, by Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Greg Clark. Alongside Michael Gove he is seen as the most intellectually able of his generation.

The energy efficiency initiative for homes, opposition to a third runway at Heathrow and support for high speed rail have been the most important signs of green Toryism up until now. George Osborne will set out more steps today including a warning to Whitehall departments that they will forfeit funding if they do not cut emissions by 10% within one year.

Other measures are summarised in The Guardian:

  • "Replace the government's bin taxes and instead pay the public to recycle.
  • Create Britain's first green investment bank, to concentrate funds drawn together from disparate micro-government initiatives. They hope this will win the UK a bigger share of the $3tn (£1.8tn) global market in green technologies than its current 5%. They would also encourage the private sector to finance green technology start-ups.
  • Introduce green ISAs: tax-free savings vehicles where all the funds invested go to green companies and environmental technologies.
  • Expand the City's green trading market.
  • Ban the export credit guarantee department from underwriting risky investment in foreign fossil fuel projects."

Tim Montgomerie


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.