Tag Archives: Greg Barker

It’s time for a new Conservative narrative on low carbon

This post is by the Rt Hon Lord Barker of Battle, minister for energy and climate change from 2010 to 2014.

As we waited last week for the final agreement to emerge from COP21, David Cameron celebrated his tenth anniversary as leader of the Conservative Party, a position won in part because of his call for a fresh, ambitious approach to the environment. His government has now been at the heart of the international efforts that secured an historic climate deal in Paris. Read more

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

When solar panels hit brick walls: what innovation theory tells us about the future of community energy

Electrician checking solar panelsThis post is by Rebecca Willis, an independent researcher, adviser on environment and sustainability and Green Alliance associate.

I don’t envy politicians trying to talk to constituents about climate change. It’s undoubtedly one of the most crucial challenges for modern politics. But, when you’re trying to earn a living and get the kids to school, climate change can seem a remote, theoretical thing. 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

Local authorities need more incentives to cut carbon

This is a guest post by David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change

Our report on how local authorities can reduce emissions originated in questions raised as the Energy Bill passed through Parliament in 2010. In particular, there was a suggestion that local authorities should be set carbon budgets. Greg Barker’s response was to commission us to provide advice on the role of local authorities in reducing emissions.

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