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.[registration_form]