New UK Coalition Commits to 10% Government CO2 Cuts in One Year
Image credit: 10:10 Campaign
Late last year, the UK Conservative Party pledged to cut government CO2 emissions 10% in one year if it came to power. Now we're going to see how they plan to do it. This development is the single most significant victory for the 10:10 Campaign so far, a movement that has seen private companies, local governments, football clubs, utilities and individuals pledging to cut their CO2 10% in one year. (The campaign is supported by over 65,000 people, 2,610 businesses and 3,100 organisations and educational institutions.)
After a nail biting election, the Conservatives are now in a power sharing arrangement with the Liberal Democrats (who are known for a tougher stance on climate change and CO2), and the Guardian reports that in their very first announcement the coalition renewed the Conservatives pledge of support to the 10:10 Campaign. If successfully fulfilled, this pledge alone would cut 1% of Britain's total CO2 emissions in just one year.
Details of how the cuts will be achieved remain a little sketchy, but assuming that there will be a significant focus on saving energy and improving efficiency, this is one of those environmental measures that should please even the most fiscally conservative climate skeptics.
On a broader note, the jury is still out on how the new coalition will affect environmental politics in the UK. The Guardian has some useful analysis of the Conservative and Liberal positions on the environment, and how they may come together. But that's another post.
And on one final note about the UK elections, holocaust denier and climate conspiracy theorist Nick Griffin's attempts to push his far-right British National Party into the mainstream of British politics backfired spectacularly. The party lost all of its seats on the one London council, Griffin was roundly defeated in his own bid for Parliament, and party activists were caught on camera fighting in the streets with youths. It looks like climate skepticism remains, for now, firmly on the sidelines of British politics. I wish we could say the same elsewhere.