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Tory party and climate change

(42 Posts)
Rowanapp Thu 21-May-20 11:43:27

AIBU unreasonable to ask; if you voted conservative at the last election; what do you think about their lack of impetus and action on climate change? Do you not believe in climate change? Or maybe you do believe but don't think there is any point in acting on it? The tory manifesto was demonstrably the least ambitious on climate and none of the rhetoric makes me think the tories have any intention of actually doing anything meaningful about climate change as that would mean taking on some real vested interests which they have shown themselves unwilling to do.
For me although there was many problems with Corbyn's labour I would always vote for the party with the most ambitious climate program. This is a problem that will be troubling our children, grandchildren and their children long after Brexit, the current economic woes and everything else that was debated in the election is forgotten about. I'm not trying to be goady genuinely interested to know.

SchrodingersBox Thu 21-May-20 12:59:33

Do you have any international comparisons to back up your statement?

The UK's CO2 emission levels have fallen year on year. The last time they were this low was in the middle of Queen Victoria's reign. Woodland coverage is the highest since the Plantagenets.

So much of the green movement is about imposing socialism on other people rather than actually caring about the environment.
I care about the environment but I believe the way to improve it is through innovation and technology rather than implementing the policies pushed for by people like Extinction Rebellion which would see us all lives even more miserable than most are experiencing during lockdown.

RandomLondoner Thu 21-May-20 13:39:55

what do you think about their lack of impetus and action on climate change?

What other major European country has done more than the UK over the last ten years? I'm not saying there isn't one, I'm just asking you to justify the foundation of your argument, as it sounds to me like you are simply assuming your facts.

Are you aware of the absolutely massive switch (for electricity generation) away from coal towards renewables over the last ten years? As part of a program that is going to continue for another ten years?

What exactly do you mean by "lack"? I agree a lot more needs doing, but I see no signs they are behind anyone else in power in a similar country anywhere in the world in what they've done so far.

RandomLondoner Thu 21-May-20 13:44:20

Here is some random information I've googled for you.

Renewables generated more than 40% of Britain’s power in the first three months of the year – overtaking fossil fuels for the first time, analysis shows.

www.energyvoice.com/otherenergy/241140/renewable-energy-powers-40-of-uk-as-it-outstrips-oil-and-gas-for-first-time-analysis-shows/

CuriousaboutSamphire Thu 21-May-20 13:44:40

Mmmm! I didn't vote Tory buit...

Rhetoric was evident all over the place.

Ambitious - Labour made a few promises that seemed to be intended to be disbelieved, there were quite a few threads about the free broadband etc etc

The world has changed since those were written. Much of the immediacy of some issues have dissipated / disappeared.

Almost as if Extinction Rebellion have taken over the world - to coin a consporacy theory!

We will need a lot of new data to be gather to sure we don't waste time and money on issues CV19 have already ameliorated!

WhatATimeToBeAlive Thu 21-May-20 13:46:41

Quick search:

Which country has reduced emissions the most?
United Kingdom. While the United Kingdom ranks among the top emitters of carbon, it has significantly reduced its carbon emissions – by about 35% between 1992 and 2017. Only a few countries in the world can claim any reduction at all, and most of them not nearly the reduction that the U.K. has managed.

Personally I'd like to see China, USA and India doing more.

RandomLondoner Thu 21-May-20 13:52:22

Personally I'd like to see China, USA and India doing more.

China, despite building lots of new coal capacity, has (I think) also invested as much as the UK has done in renewable generation. When you look at per-capita emissions, it's not China but the USA and Japan who need to get their act together.

RandomLondoner Thu 21-May-20 13:53:49

Blaming China is what politicians in rich western countries do to deflect from their own desire to do nothing. The single biggest problem country in the world is the USA.

Hingeandbracket Thu 21-May-20 13:56:53

I'd never vote Tory and I have serious questions I'd love to ask people who did, but they aren't in this area.
It's only really the Green Party who have policies that would make a significant difference. Most of us aren't prepared to accept the changes that would be needed to make any worthwhile difference.

Hingeandbracket Thu 21-May-20 13:58:19

I blame Tories for a lot of things but they aren't really a massive outlier in this area IMHO.

CuriousaboutSamphire Thu 21-May-20 13:59:24

China, despite building lots of new coal capacity, has (I think) also invested as much as the UK has done in renewable generation. Yeah, sadly its hydroelectric capacity comes at a huge expense to others, much like India!

I am sure we will be crying for the Himalays and the Mekong soon enough!

It isn't a simple thing, to point the finger at any country...

Hingeandbracket Thu 21-May-20 13:59:40

For me although there was many problems with Corbyn's labour I would always vote for the party with the most ambitious climate program
So you voted Green OP?

RandomLondoner Thu 21-May-20 14:01:26

Power cables have recently been laid (or are in the process of being laid) across the Mediterranean, To Sicily and Italy, and (I think) Spain. I would like to see solar capacity built in the Sahara to power the whole of Europe, the Middle East and most of Africa north of the equator.

As far as the UK is concerned, I would like to see the wind program enhanced to the point that it's at least covering all our electricity needs. (We can export the excess on windy days to the continent, or use it to create other forms of energy, such as gas and liquid fuels.) As far as I know, the current program is only on target to provide a third of our needs. Maybe the government doesn't want to be dependent on one form of generation though, in case something goes wrong?

AgeLikeWine Thu 21-May-20 14:03:52

The U.K. is a world leader in tackling climate change, particularly in terms of power generation. We are in the middle of a massive shift from generating electricity by burning fossil fuels to doing so using renewables. We are the undisputed world leaders in offshore wind, with more capacity coming on stream all the time. Based on current trends we will Be generating almost all our electricity from renewables within a couple of decades. This has happened during the coalition & Tory governments.

I do not vote Tory.

Fairyliz Thu 21-May-20 14:05:44

You bored Jeremy?

weepingwillow22 Thu 21-May-20 14:08:34

The climate action tracker has this to say about the uk. The tory party policies are identified as particularly poor in relation to climate change

climateactiontracker.org/countries/uk/
The UK is currently projected not to achieve its own medium-term climate targets, with government projections showing it will not achieve the emission reductions required to comply with its fourth (2023-2027) and fifth (2028-2032) carbon budgets.

The significant progress made in the decade since the passage of the UK’s landmark Climate Change Act legislation is expected to stall in the 2020s, vividly demonstrated by the only slight deviation of the planned policy emissions trajectory, from that representing current policies in the graph above. There has been a dearth of new significant climate policies announced in recent years which, if left unaddressed, will leave the UK missing its medium and long-term emission targets. The government must ratchet up its climate policies now to ensure the necessary rapid emission reductions over the following decade.

In the ten years since the passage of the Climate Change Act in 2008, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have fallen by 28% and it has provided the foundation for the coordination and advancement of climate action in the UK, including a projected phasing out of coal fired power plants by 2023.The legislation was updated in 2019 to include a net-zero 2050 emissions target, with the UK becoming the first major economy in the world to legislate such a target.

The UK’s five-year carbon budgets, formulated under the original Climate Change Act legislationwere originally set in order to comply with the previous 2050 goal of an 80% reduction below 1990 levels.This means the UK’s climate policies will need to be strengthened significantly to ensure the UK meets its long-term net-zero target. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) did not recommended changes to these budgets, but rather that the government overachieve them. However, the Committee did note it would reconsider whether legislative changes would be necessary to strengthen the fourth and fifth carbon budgets when it delivers its advice on the sixth budget period (2033-2037) in 2020.

The CCC has asserted that net-zero emissions by 2050 constitutes the UK’s ‘highest possible ambition’. It states that Scotland should set a net-zero GHG target of 2045, and that Wales should set a 95% reduction below 1990 levelsby 2050 to reflect their respective circumstances. In a review of what will be required to reach the net-zero target, the CCC highlighted the lack of a plan for decarbonising UK heating systems, the lack of progress in developing carbon capture and storage capability, the failure to meet afforestation targets, and that the current 2040 target for banning fossil fuel vehicles is too late.

With a general election scheduled for December 2019, the UK has a chance to decide whether it will match the urgency conveyed by parliament’s declaration of a climate emergency in May 2019 with more ambitious climate policies.

The UK Labour Partyhas pledged £250 billion to drive its plansfor a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’, while recently committing to a 2030 phase out of fossil fuel vehicle sales and £3.6bn for a national charging network. These policies alone would make the UK a climate frontrunner with no other major developed country yet committing to such ambitious actions.

This is in contrast to the Conservative Party which has announced only a limited number of climate-related policies in their election manifesto, including £9.2 billion for improving the energy efficiency of schools, hospitals and homes, and a brought-forward ban on gas-boilers in all new homes from 2020. An announced ban on fracking was subsequently criticised for not being permanent. Many other parties, including the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party, and the Greens, have made action on climate change a high priority in their election campaigns.

As a result of sustained political pressure from the activist group Extinction Rebellion, the UK Parliament decided to establish a ‘citizen’s assembly’ on climate change. This group of 110 citizens representative of the general population will meet over four weekends in early 2020 to discuss what policies they would like to see implemented to reach the UK’s net-zero 2050 emissions target.

Although the UK is set to leave the EU by early 2020, it has committed to continue working with the EU, aligning and, where possible, going beyond the EU’s climate and energy ambitions. The UK’s current targets are more ambitious than what was required under the EU effort sharing legislation, so there is no expectation of a weakening of climate policy ambition as a result of leaving the EU.

The government’s current 2030 target of a 57% reduction in GHG emissions below 1990 levels is rated as ‘Insufficient’, for limiting warming to below 1.5°C. Under the EU’s effort sharing regulation, the UK is expected to reduce GHG emissions that are not covered by the EU emissions trading scheme by 37% below 2005 levels by 2030.

CuriousaboutSamphire Thu 21-May-20 14:14:16

The UK’s current targets are more ambitious than what was required under the EU so how are they also poor?

weepingwillow22 Thu 21-May-20 14:19:23

@curiousaboutsamphire I think it is making the point that although the UK has stretching targets there are no policies in place to support reaching them.

It is similar to the situation in relation to covid. We had one of the worlds best pandemic plans but didn't bother putting anything in place to implement it.

JassyRadlett Thu 21-May-20 14:22:47

Which country has reduced emissions the most?
United Kingdom. While the United Kingdom ranks among the top emitters of carbon, it has significantly reduced its carbon emissions – by about 35% between 1992 and 2017. Only a few countries in the world can claim any reduction at all, and most of them not nearly the reduction that the U.K. has managed.

We’ve outsourced about half of those emissions, though, instead of actually cutting them. Outsourced a lot of them to the countries listed as needing to do more, as it happens.

Moonmelodies Thu 21-May-20 14:26:25

Wasn't it the Tories who tried to shut down the coal industry, while everyone else wailed about it?

CuriousaboutSamphire Thu 21-May-20 14:26:57

How outsourced?

I looked last year and was disappointed with the quality of the data

Leafyhouse Thu 21-May-20 14:28:29

If the entire UK went carbon-neutral tomorrow, the world's global emissions of CO2 would drop by... wait for it... 1.1%

Yes - we're small. There's things we can do - get ahead of the global economy by becoming world leaders in sustainable green technologies. Invest in flood defences and definitely do our bit to curb emissions. But save the world? Not a chance. Doesn't mean we shouldn't go carbon neutral, but it won't solve anything.

And Extinction Rebellion? Actually good on some things, but scratch the surface, and there's the corruption of socialism. The only thing I hate more than pollution is fucking socialism. I support them - up to a point. Then when they start to talk about a 'fairer society' I lose interest.

CuriousaboutSamphire Thu 21-May-20 14:29:18

Ignore me. I was looking at/for 2 completely different things.

Manufacturing = outsource

Something CV19 has thrown into sharp relief.

Rowanapp Thu 21-May-20 14:33:42

Outsourced because we buy goods from China - so the CO2 involved in making them is attributed to China. CO2 involved in shipping is attributed to no one.
Climate scientists are quite clear we are not doing enough. Conservative manifesto was evaluated by numerous groups as the least ambitious on climate change. Our historic CO2 emissions are massive. Yes China and India should do more but they also need to lift their populations out of poverty. If we lead there is a chance others might follow. But we won’t elect a government who will do that. ?due to self interest, solving the climate crisis won’t be cheap. But maybe people care about more than just GDP. Politicians will only take notice when they see massive public demand.

JassyRadlett Thu 21-May-20 14:35:31

How outsourced?

I looked last year and was disappointed with the quality of the data

www.wwf.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/FINAL-WWF-UK_Carbon_Footprint_Analysis_Report_March_2020%20%28003%29.pdf
This study from University of Leeds and WWF was the one I was thinking of. I think the govt also does consumption based emission stats.

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