In the final days before the election the GJA is sending out a stark warning for climate change and the environment about the consequences of a Conservative victory. Their manifesto ‘’Forward Together’ makes some startling claims, as well as failing to address the key challenges facing the UK. LINK
This has now been compounded on the international stage with the pathetic response to Trump’s decision on the Paris Agreement
- Global leader? – The Tories state in their manifesto that ‘We will continue to lead international action against climate change’ (p.38). What attempts are made to justify this claim? This leadership role is apparently demonstrated by the UK ratification of the Paris Agreement! (p.40). In fact, we were one of the last of the countries to ratify. Hardly leadership. Another bizarre claim is trying to take credit for the introduction of the Climate Change Act. The Act was introduced by a Labour Government in 2008. In a desperate attempt to get some reflected glory we are told that the Conservatives ‘helped to frame it’ (p.40)
- Defending the Paris Agreement – Now that Donald Trump has withdrawn from the Agreement how has May shown her leadership? A phone call from the prime minister supposedly expressing ‘our disappointment’. Real leadership would have been to sign the protest letter making it clear that the agreement cannot be re-negotiated and condemning the decision. Theresa May’s subservience to the US has led to a failure to provide strong leadership yet again.
- UK domestic policy -Air Quality is the biggest public and occupational health risk and is covered in one sentence (p.25). ‘Action’ is promised with no indication what that will be. If their proposals in the consultation paper released just before the manifesto are anything to go by then we know it will be very limited. A new Clean Air Act as proposed by the Green Party and Labour Party is not included as an option even though a clear national direction is essential. Energy policy is framed in a strange assertion that it ‘should be focused on outcomes rather than the means by which we reach our objectives. So, after we have left the European Union, we will form our energy policy based not on the way energy is generated but on the ends we desire – reliable and affordable energy, seizing the industrial opportunity that new technology presents and meeting our global commitments on climate change’ (p.23). The manifesto then contradicts itself by focusing on fracking as a way of generating energy even though the reality suggests that it will not be consistent with any of the 3 ends identified.