Chancellor mentions environment shock!

George Osborne felt confident enough to say it as he saw it at the Tory party conference yesterday.

Yes, climate change is a man made disaster.

Yes, we need international agreement to stop it.

Yes, we must have investment in greener energy. And that’s why I gave the go ahead to the world’s first Green Investment Bank.

But Britain makes up less than 2% of the world’s carbon emissions to China and America’s 40%.

We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business.

So let’s at the very least resolve that we’re going to cut our carbon emissions no slower but also no faster than our fellow countries in Europe.

That’s what I’ve insisted on in the recent carbon budget.

Even if Mr Osborne has forgotten, do you remember the promise of the brand new Prime Minister David Cameron on 14 May 2010 in the Department of Energy and Climate Change? Then, the Tory line was:

“I don’t want to hear warm words about the environment. I want to see real action. I want this to be the greenest government ever.  In fact, we’ve made a good start. Someone pointed out when you mix blue with yellow – you get green.”

Well Mr Osborne took his boss’s words to heart – Osborne doesn’t bother with warm words about the environment at all.

Let’s not improve health and education faster than other European countries, let’s not cut crime and drug-taking faster than other European countries, let’s not do good in greater quantities than other European countries and let’s not reduce harm by more than other European countries.  No, we are the the Tories and we prioritise money above any of these things.  We will increase speed limits and concrete over the countryside in the name of economic progress but we won’t do more than a very narrow view of ‘our bit’ to save the planet, the people who live on it and the millions of other species with which we share it.  In Osborne’s Britain we win no medals at the Olympics and we show no leadership except in the scramble to grasp an economic mirage.

And just for Mr Osborne’s benefit, the UK is the 12th most polluting country in the world (in 2005) by total GHG emissions.

Where are the Lib Dems? Hello? Hello? Anybody out there? Apparently not.


14 Replies to “Chancellor mentions environment shock!”

  1. We have, it seems, a government that has already forgotton the people it works for.
    They have a set of ideals (or ideas) and nothing can sway them from their course, they don’t believe a plan B is necessary incase of failure, only when they realise they are turning vast numbers of their voting demographic against themselves do they seem to notice that their ideas (ideals?) are short term financial gain over long term sustainability.

    It’s time they started valuing the things that we have because regardless of the national debt, somethings are ultimately more important.

    Top of that list is the environment

  2. George Osborne’s idea to introduce the world’s first green investment bank and then print loads of money to get us out of debt and subsequently print lots more money to help our environment seems very akin to a fairytale ending to the country’s problems. The trouble with fairy tales is that they are only believed by the gullible few and perhaps the audience at a party political conference. Party politics in the UK is long overdue a reality check.
    When the government say that environmental constraints are restricting our economic development they are simply trying to find a scapegoat for problems they cannot solve, but at the same time they are showing their true colours. The greenest government ever!! I certainly do not think so

  3. Seems to be part of a developing split between the Tory right and the ‘soft Tory’/Lib Dem side of the coalition – unfortunately the ‘soft’ side is not standing up for the environment at present. Indeed, where are the Lib Dems? Good question! I thought they were pro combating global warming, pro recycling, pro public transport / anti petrolhead lobby, but they’ve been awfully quiet during the Tory conference. Dissapointing.

    Would also like to see a more coherent challenge to this anti environment rhetoric from the opposition parties – and not just from Labour. Chance for the green party to shine perhaps? Looking for somebody to clearly state an alternative vision to ‘growth as usual’ – a sustainable future that doesn’t depend on pretend money in the City, plundering resources and building overpriced houses in unsuitable locations on the whim of developers!

  4. Someone on twitter asked when the Tory party are going a bulldozer next to that tree on their logo .. made me chuckle!

    Glad to see we are right at the forefront of doing our bit but not a bit more! Quintessentially British!

    As Pink Floyd said: “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way…”

    This smacks of a soundbite made from quiet desperation!


  5. To be honest I’m not surprised by this. Though it is depressing. But let’s not forget, no one voted for this government, and none of the policies they are now implementing were put before the electorate – many weren’t even in the coalition agreement.

    Still at least we can hurtle towards this madness at 80mph, throwing our chicken curries in the bin for weekly collection, while building poor quality buildings wherever we can make most profit, not increasing congestion charges nor aggregate tax, scraping the CSD and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, making sure DEFRA takes the biggest share of the cuts, committing to a programme of major new road building (just you wait and see), ripping up environmental regulations where we can; claiming they are a burden on business, and cutting local government spending which is having a massive impact on local environmental services. But wait! “We are the greenest government ever and we’re all in this together”. “Well you lot are (trying to suppress a giggle), but I’ll make sure my rich chums in the city are OK.”

  6. Hmm, I’ve never voted tory and agree their actions on the environment are often diametrically opposite to their “manifesto”, but just to add some balance the UK overseas aid budget is much bigger than most other EU and G20 countries as a percentage of GDP. For some reason the tories haven’t cut it and have boasted about maintaining it. I’m assuming its the fig leaf they’ve picked to suggest they care about something but I’m not convinced. It could be a cover for environmentally damaging aid projects in the third world. Does anyone have any idea what they are up to on this?

  7. Hmmmmm … so now the Political Birder shows his true colours as the Party Political Birder! It’s always a give-away when people refer to the Conservatives as Tories.

    But, regardless of party politics, I agree that it is bizarre to say that our policy on carbon emissions should be to perform as badly as everyone else in Europe.

    However, I am much more concerned by the belief, apparently universal amongst politicians of all mainstream parties, that we have to have more consumption and more growth. Someone should tell them what ‘sustainable’ really means.

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