Tag Archives: green conservatism

From huskies to now: 10 examples that show Tory green thinking is alive and well

letwinSome Conservative commentators have argued that the vote blue/go green period of David Cameron’s leadership was unconsidered advertising, not built on any foundation of conservative philosophy. But a review of recent conservative writing on green issues suggests otherwise.  The writers are building upon the ideals of Burke and the actions of Thatcher. After a period of relative quiet after the 2010 election, we are now seeing a new wave of green conservative thinking, which suggests the environment remains close to the heart of many conservatives. Here’s a roundup of ten the best from 2007 to now: Read more

Green conservatism: the market vs the environment

Herdwick_Sheep_-_geograph_org_uk_-_770498This post is by Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border. It is from a collection of essays: Green conservatism: protecting the environment through open markets. There are similar collections published under ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green liberalism’ projects as part of Green Alliance’s Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This has also been published on ConservativeHome.

If you want to see why a conservative approach to environmental policy is necessary, consider the fate of Britain’s small upland farms. They are vanishing. Two thirds of our farmers and independent farms have been swept aside in the last few decades. As they disappear, the basic structure of rural life is being undermined: farmhouses are converted to expensive homes in empty valleys, where it is increasingly rare to see a farmer in a field. Read more

Conference diary: where now for green conservatism?

6217321664_fdb5fc1678_bIn his latest post from the party conferences,  Green Alliance’s  Alastair Harper reports from Manchester. This piece first appeared on BusinessGreen.

There’s something surreal about the way the parties shuffle the same cities for their annual conferences. Last night, I sat in on a reception for a right-of-centre think tank, filled with young people chatting earnestly about the perils of welfare reliance and how innovation was being shackled by government regulation. In exactly the same room last year, I watched another large group of young people chatting earnestly about the perils of cuts to essential services and how growth was being limited due to lack of government stimulus investment. Surreal, but also a useful lab setting in which to compare the parties. Read more

Avoiding an energy civil war

Stromleitung mit SonneThis essay, by Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, also appears in Green conservatism: protecting the environment through open market, published last week by Green Alliance. There are similar collections under ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green liberalism’ projects as part of Green Alliance’s Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This has also been published on BusinessGreen.

As things stand, energy risks becoming the most divisive issue within the Conservative Party, the place usually held by Europe. On one side are the Roundheads, determinedly modern, concerned about climate change and convinced renewable energy holds the key to future prosperity and environmental nirvana. On the other, the Cavaliers, dismissive of climate change and convinced that the right combination of tax relief and shale gas will enable the UK to reclaim its glory days as an energy exporter. Read more

Green conservatism: move over Big 6, we need the Big 60,000

greg300This post is by the Rt Hon Greg Barker MP, minister of state for energy and climate change. An extract first appeared on The Guardian. The piece is from a forthcoming collection of essays: Green conservatism: protecting the environment through open markets. Similar collections are being published under ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green liberalism’ projects as part of Green Alliance’s Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK.

Choice, competition and a dynamic market are all a recipe for success. When the UK electricity sector was privatised in the 1990s, one vast state run monopoly became a teeming market of fourteen new firms, competing for the business of the British consumer.

Thirteen years of Labour government took a different approach to the electricity market. For my money, we ended up with the worst of both worlds. Competition dried up and the sector drifted away from dynamic pluralism to domination by a small number of big companies. By 2010, just six energy firms controlled over 90 per cent of the UK sector. Read more

Green conservatism: the benefits of real free trade in carbon

KraftwerkThis post is by Peter Franklin, former Conservative policy adviser and speech writer. It first appeared on Conservative Home and is an extract from the forthcoming collection of essays Green conservatism: protecting the environment through open markets. Similar collections are being published under Green Alliance’s ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green liberalism’ projects as part of Green Alliance’s Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK.

There’s no use denying it, the environment is a difficult area for the Conservative Party. And the biggest environmental issue, climate change, presents the greatest difficulties.

Although Margaret Thatcher was the first world leader to warn about the threat of global warming, and although David Cameron has famously highlighted the issue too, other prominent Conservatives, including Nigel Lawson and Peter Lilley, have been outspoken in their opposition to the mainstream agenda on climate change. Read more