Are UK Conservatives Lurching to the Lunatic Fringe Too?
The UK Chancellor's vow that Britain would not take a leadership position on CO2 cuts was disappointing, but given his party's previous pledges to be the greenest government ever we could be forgiven for hoping that he was a lone voice in the crowd. Sadly not, it seems. And if Business Green is to be believed, the UK Conservatives are exhibiting dangerous signs of a lurch to the anti-science, anti-regulatory, pro-fossil fuels fringe of political thought:
This shift in strategy poses little threat to the low-carbon economy as long as the Lib Dems remain in the coalition. But it is possible to imagine a scenario where a full Conservative victory at the next election allows for the full expression of what Chris Huhne memorably described as the "Tea Party tendency" in the form of an assault on green policies. Green business leaders need to be aware of this risk and should now urgently redouble efforts to protect what had previously looked like a solid political consensus on climate change.
With low carbon industries out performing the rest of the economy, UK solar capacity growing 900% in 18 months, and a symbolically important solar railway bridge going up in central London, there is still much to be admired in the UK's emerging post-fossil fuel era business world. But it looks like that may increasingly be despite, not because, of Government action.
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