Image credit: 10:10 Campaign
You wouldn't know it to look at recent discussion threads here on TreeHugger, but one of the most encouraging signs in recent years has been the moves by politicians of all shades to start tackling climate change. Of course you'd be hard pressed to find any politician pushing the kind of carbon cuts many scientists recommend, but at least open climate skepticism is increasingly relegated to the radical fringes of party politics in many countries. To that end, the dramatic announcement from the UK Conservatives that they will seek massive CO2 cuts within 12 months of taking office is huge, and very significant indeed. The pledge comes as the Conservative party throws its weight behind the 10:10 campaign, committing to seeking 10% CO2 cuts across government within 1 year of being elected to office. The move was inspired by the thousands of citizens, businesses and organizations that have joined the 10:10 campaign, promising to slash their own carbon emissions by 10% in 1 year.
10:10 Campaign Director Eugenie Harvey responded to the news by saying, "Today's announcement from the Tories is truly remarkable. This would mean that all central Government buildings, from Big Ben to Belmarsh Prison will follow the inspiring example set by families, businesses, schools, and faith groups across the country in making an ambitious 10% emissions reduction in 2010."
According to the campaign, Government activities account for as much as 1% of total UK emissions, so a move this size has direct and important consequences on total emissions. But it is also an important signal to the rest of the country—we are in this together, and we need to start taking action now. Perhaps the most important aspect of this move, and the 10:10 campaign in general, is the emphasis on immediate, substantive action. We're not talking about goals for 2050, or even 2020, but what can be done right here, right now.
And for those on the right of the political spectrum, surely moves by central government to slash energy expenditure and increase efficiency can only be a good thing?