Azara Blog: David Cameron does more posturing on the environment

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Date published: 2008/06/16

The BBC says:

Tory leader David Cameron has said he will not be diverted from his "green" agenda by the economic downturn.

In a speech at Westminster's Royal Horticultural Halls, he said Britain "can't afford not to go green".

He called for rules ensuring all new coal-fired power stations include measures to trap CO2 and to encourage the development of "greener" cars.
In his speech, Mr Cameron said he would not ignore the financial pressures on people, but would not drop his environmental agenda.

He said any "green taxes" introduced by the Conservatives would be put into a separate fund for tax relief for families.
Fighting climate change was not a "costly diversion" and over-reliance on oil and gas was "bad for our national security," he said.

"The era of cheap oil is well and truly over," he added.

"So whether we need to cut our carbon or not- which we do, whether you believe in climate change or not - which you should, for the sake of our future prosperity and our current cost of living, we must wean ourselves off fossil fuels and go green."

Mr Cameron said all new coal-fired power stations should have to include measures to trap CO2 emissions and said a Tory government would make researching tidal power in Britain a priority.

He also promised to improve energy efficiency in the home, to encourage "micro-renewables" like homeowners' wind turbines and solar panels by paying them a guaranteed price for energy they create.

And he pledged to draw up a long-term national transport plan aimed at aiding the economy and the environment - arguing that the government's arguments for a third runway at Heathrow airport fell apart under scrutiny.

This speech was obviously intended to mollify the academic middle class people who currently vote Lib Dem or Green.

He is going to keep Heathrow as one of the world's worst airports. If he wants to argue that capacity should be being diverted to a more sensible airport, such as Stansted (including building an extra runway there), then all well and good, but of course this is not what he is proposing. He is just anti-aviation industry. (Well, except that of course he will continue to fly everywhere, mostly paid for by the taxpayer.)

Guaranteeing the price for the (little) power that home wind turbines and solar panels generate is just saying that the ordinary tax payer of Britain should be subsidising the academic middle class people who want to pretend they are saving the world by playing at being amateur energy producers.

On the tax front, you can pretty much guarantee that, as now, the whacking great new so-called green taxes that the Tories are just dying to introduce (at least on motoring and aviation) will not be revenue neutral. As for who will allegedly be compensated, who are these "families" that will subsequently be given tax breaks? Everybody in Britain belongs to a family, but unfortunately the Tories, in truly divisive New Labour style, seem to consider that everybody who does not have children under 18 is not in a family. Needless to say, having children at all is about the most unenvironmentally friendly thing you can do, but funnily enough, Cameron never mentions this.

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