Vote Blue Go Green was the Tory mantra pre 2010 general election. But now the Tories are back in government but without the Lib Dems what’s the future for the environment? The answer lies respectively with the Environment Minister, Liz Truss, and new girl, Amber Rudd MP, who takes over Energy and Climate Change from Ed Davy, the former Lib Dem MP who lost his seat. Under the Tories’ manifesto we learn they plan to scrap subsidies for on-shore wind farms, invest mega millions in EDF’s new Somerset nuclear plant, encourage fracking and keep the North Sea oil fields pumping.
Oh yes we’re going to pay for plastic bags but there’s little mention of action to combat illegal air pollution in our towns and cities. Developers are likely to reduce insulation standards to keep down, as they put it, house prices and then there is the Green Deal which has all but a total flop.
The EU brought in a temporary ban on neonicotinoids, an agricultural chemical that poisons bees and other pollinators. Like some other green measures it was opposed by the Tories. If the UK opts to leave the EU, the environment will have lost a major champion.
Minister, Amber Rudd, faces a very tough challenge what with representing the UK at the Paris Climate talks later this year, and dealing with her own sceptical back-benchers. She agrees with renewables provided they are cost-effective, a completely vacuous term used by management consultants and politicians.