A version of this post was first published by the New Statesman.
A new joint report from Green Alliance, WWF, Christian Aid, RSPB and Greenpeace believes we will have a global agreement on tackling climate change by the end of next year. If we do, it will be an exceptional event. Nations working together is no longer the fashionable way to deal with problems. The UN is looked upon as indecisive, the EU is seen as technocratic and even the United Kingdom is barely living up to its name. And yet the prime minister has just announced he will be heading to New York later this month to meet with other world leaders to discuss getting a global agreement. Why would he bother?
Some 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
This 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