How the political parties shape up on climate change

02 May 2015 | David Casale

Politicians from five political parties have clashed in a recent BBC TV debate over action to tackle climate change – with UKIP arguing it is not caused by humans. So how do the Parties shape up on energy?

Matt Hancock (Con) praised the government’s record on reducing carbon emissions. But Ed Davey (Lib Dems) had to “fight every day” with its coalition partners for renewable forms of energy. Caroline Flint (Lab) refused to rule out fuel duty rising whilst promising to freeze prices for other fuels. No one on the stage knew what the price of energy actually was.

Roger Helmer (UKIP) did not help the general consensus on climate change by adding: “I do not believe that the changes in climate are substantially caused by human activity”. He also insisted that it was not something voters were particularly interested in, removing himself entirely from the idea of leadership in this arena. He went on to demonstrate his considerable scientific knowledge on the matter by selecting a single indicator out of many: “There’s been no further global warming for 18 years”.

“Environmental policy is about the beauty of our green and pleasant land. Putting onshore turbines in the wrong places where they are not wanted is not acceptable to local communities and we need to tackle that while supporting other renewables and low carbon,” said Mr Hancock. But Mr Davey compared Mr Hancock’s support for renewables but not for onshore wind to “saying you like the Rolling Stones and not liking Mick Jagger”.

Ms Flint said Labour would continue to support the development of renewable forms of energy. “There are costs to this, but let’s remember on our bills the green levy only amounts to £60 of an average bill of £1,300,” she said. So fix climate change for £60 per year; what’s the fuss?

I suspect only those in the know watched to the end; no one else would have been able to make neither head nor tail of it.

David Casale



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