The Tories have published a list of ‘Ten reasons to vote Conservative’ which did not include any reference to the environment or climate change. This is despite David Cameron’s claim that he has ‘sought to push the environment up to the top of the political agenda’, and his own Shadow Climate Change Secretary Greg Clark’s assertion that Cameron ‘wanted the environment to be a very important part of the proposition we put to the public at the General Election.’ It follows the recent revelation that reducing Britain’s carbon footprint was at the bottom of the list of priorities of most Conservative election candidates
Action on the environment is a far cry from photo opportunities in the Arctic and it seems that any action is unlikely to occur if a Conservative government is elected.
This lack of interest contrasts quite starkly with the approach of the Liberal Democrats, who have called for investment in green technology and better rail routes to help Britain out of recession. We have also proposed investing in shipyards in Britain to enable them to build and service offshore wind turbines.
Whatever your views about global warming it is a given that oil, gas and coal are finite resources and that eventually alternatives will need to be found. The country which invests in new technologies now will stand to benefit in future.
In Norway, investment is being put into bigger and better offshore wind energy. British Airways is investing in fuel derived from waste, which will be on stream by 2014.
If such new thinking is being taken up by private companies it demonstrates the value of these new ideas and their relevance to today's world. Investment in green technology is not just 'greenwash': as these two examples demonstrate, it is sound economic common sense.
It is a shame that one of the main parties in Britain considers the environment and the relaunch of our economy to be of secondary importance.