UK Conservatives Issued Strong Green Challenge From Within

The UK’s Conservative Party hasn’t always put green at the core of its agenda – even fairly recently it has been challenging proposals for pay-as-you-throw garbage disposal, despite evidence from mainland Europe that such schemes can dramatically increase recycling. Nevertheless, party leader David Cameron has been making increasingly green noises, and he has even been seen sporting a pair of Worn Agains. While these may be encouraging signs, the real proof will be in the party’s policies. Now Cameron has been faced with a significant challenge from within his own party, as The Guardian reports:

The quality of life policy review, which was widely leaked in advance, set out plans for a moratorium on airport expansion and higher taxes on short-haul flights and gas-guzzling cars - but the authors sought to reassure the party faithful that it did not represent a break with Tory tradition. The group's chairman, John Gummer, compared the changes it was proposing to past initiatives by "Shaftesbury, Disraeli and Wilberforce". "I see no contradictions between greenness and economic issues," said Mr Gummer, the former environment secretary. "It's basically Conservative. We are about giving to the next generation something better than we've received ourselves."

The report can be read in full here, and it has some pretty strong environmental credentials behind it - co-author Zac Goldsmith is editor of The Ecologist (and also a Conservative parliamentary candidate). Friends of the Earth have called on Cameron to adopt the report’s recommendations in full, but we will wait and see just how green the self-proclaimed ‘party of business’ really can become. We hope this is a sign that Conservatism really is embracing conservation once more. ::The Conservatives::via The Guardian::