Conservatives

Why is the ‘party of business’ doing everything they can to damage the main growth industries of the 21st century?

Posted by Graham Thompson — 22 July 2015 at 3:02pm - Comments
Conservative manifesto cover
You really do need to speak to your father-in-law, George.

Coal and nuclear are dying, and the future of energy lies in solar. This isn’t a Guardian reader’s fantasy, this is the established trend in energy markets. This isn’t a declaration of victory over carbon dioxide either – the trend isn’t fast enough to stop catastrophic climate change, at least not yet – but it’s useful information for policy makers. Unless you’re George Osborne, in which case it’s time to plough the nation’s remaining finances into life support for nuclear and coal whilst standing athwart history yelling ‘STOP!’ 


The next UK government promises to be an ocean champion

Posted by Willie — 20 April 2015 at 11:23am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Enric Sala/ Nat Geo

Here’s a prediction: the next UK government will do great things for global marine protection.

At this stage in a general election campaign it’s sometimes hard to find something that politicians wearing differently coloured rosettes can agree on, but with an unprecedented bunch of manifesto commitments, there’s a growing certainty that the next UK government will be an ocean champion.

The saga of the Energy Bill continues...

Posted by wmccallu — 29 October 2013 at 5:27pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Friends of the Earth
#vote4cleanpower outside the House of Lords

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be in the House of Lords to see the latest instalment of the decarbonisation target saga unfold. This is the target which would see carbon removed from the UK’s electricity system by 2030. It should be in the Energy Bill but isn't, because George Osborne fought to keep it out.

Tory conference: can Osborne be brought to his senses?

Posted by ruthdavis — 3 October 2011 at 6:07pm - Comments
There was no 'green government' in Osborne's speech today. None at all.

George Osborne's speech to the Conservative Party Conference today hit a lot of bases.

It was childishly boastful, claiming victory for his department earlier in the year in a row over higher UK climate targets, when in fact he and his officials were very publicly overruled by David Cameron.

Has Cameron lost his love for the huskies and our climate?

Posted by jamie — 13 May 2011 at 5:06pm - Comments
Is this really the 'greenest government ever'?
All rights reserved. Credit: David Sandison / Greenpeace
Is this really the 'greenest government ever'?

Is it really a year since David Cameron, newly ensconced as prime minister, assured us that the coalition would be the "greenest government ever"? It's an anniversary worth remembering, if only to consider how, in environmental terms, Cameron's government seems stuck in reverse.

Why are the oil companies complaining?

Posted by Richardg — 18 April 2011 at 4:41pm - Comments
Cairn's tugs drag icebergs out the way of its Arctic oil drilling rig
All rights reserved. Credit: Will Rose / Greenpeace
Cairn's tugs drag icebergs out the way of its Arctic oil drilling rig

Ever since last month’s Budget, oil companies have been complaining about George Osborne’s tax on North Sea oil and gas. Yet many have just announced record profits - boosted considerably by current sky-high oil prices. What do they take us for?

Conservative gas security fears exposed as dangerous hot air

Posted by christian — 10 February 2010 at 5:26pm - Comments

What gives us more energy security? Deploying troops to secure gas pipelines, or building a renewable economy?

Since before their conference in October the Conservative party have been raising fears of energy blackouts in Britain. Greg Clark, Shadow energy minister, even claimed in his party conference speech that 'there must be immediate action to keep the lights on' - a speech which, for dramatic effect, began in a darkened room. The same language was trotted out at a debate about gas security in Westminster we helped organise, when Charles Hendry, Conservative Shadow Minister for Energy, raised the spectre of energy blackouts. He claimed that during the recent cold spell Britain had been ‘down to three days of gas storage' and had ‘reached the situation where we were at risk.'

What's going on here? Well, the thinly veiled subtext behind the Tory line goes like this: Britain is at the mercy of foreign powers - in particular the Russians - who supply us with our gas. It's a pretty strong challenge. But is it right?

Third runway grounded? Not quite yet...

Posted by jamie — 13 October 2009 at 4:45pm - Comments

How the Sunday Times reported the story

'BAA to give up on third runway' ran the headline in this weekend's Sunday Times and with the recent good news about Kingsnorth delay, there was a moment when I thought it was my Christmas and birthday presents rolled in to one. But unpick the details and unfortunately it's not quite the prize it appears to be.

Tories will 'definitely' scrap Heathrow's third runway

Posted by jamie — 6 October 2009 at 4:39pm - Comments

Some promising news from the Tory party conference in Manchester, where they've pledged to dump plans for Heathrow's third runway as part of their election campaign package. "We are absolutely firm on our opposition to expansion at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted," shadow transport minister Julian Brazier told the Evening Standard today. "It will definitely be in the manifesto."

It's great to hear their commitment being reaffirmed as it shows how isolated the government is on this issue. But there's a long way to go between promising to include it in the election manifesto, being able to form a government and then actually getting round to reversing the decision. Reports from the conference say that the Heathrow pledge in Theresa Villiers' speech received a polite smattering of applause, but her promise to crackdown on cowboy clampers roused the audience further still. Make of that what you will.

Will the real Ed Miliband please stand up?

Posted by jossc — 22 December 2008 at 3:51pm - Comments

Coal power - no thanks!

Ed Miliband demonstrated the confusion at the of the heart of the government's energy and climate change strategies this morning when he refused to rule out new coal plants which don't capture and bury their emissions – just weeks after his own advisers warned there was no future for these power plants.

He attacked Conservative plans for the introduction of green standards for power stations that would rule out the dirtiest coal plants like E.ON's for Kingsnorth, as "knee jerk" and "not thought through". Apparently, he's happy to play party politics with coal and climate change, just days after he called for a people-powered movement on global warming. Hardly the way to inspire action on the most important issue of our time.

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