|What will you do about climate change?
22 Apr 2005
Under the last Conservative Government, Britain established a position of international leadership on climate change. Britain is still in a position to offer that leadership. Thanks to Conservative energy policies, we are one of the few countries likely to meet their Kyoto commitments.
But under Labour, Britain’s carbon emissions have gone up, not down. A new Conservative Government would take decisive action to get them back down again and regain Britain’s leadership on climate change. In particular, a Conservative Government will:
• Be fully committed to the Kyoto process.
• Commit to the 2010, 2020 and 2050 targets for reducing all greenhouse gas emissions.
• Incorporate those targets into a road map that sets out interim milestones, backed by a credible and transparent plan of action.
• Fight for an effective system of carbon trading through the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, moving as fast as possible to a tougher and fairer allocation of carbon allowances, and then to its extension around the world.
• Phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the impact of which on global warming is thousands of times greater than carbon emissions.
• Pursue a green energy policy – not just as the most effective way of reducing carbon emissions, but also as a way of ensuring Britain’s energy security, fighting fuel poverty, opening up new opportunities for British industry and engaging the general public.
• Create real incentives for energy efficiency.
• Use building regulations to improve and enforce energy efficiency standards and work with developers to establish a zero emissions road map for all new buildings.
• Provide more support for a wide range of renewable energy sources including offshore wind, biofuels, solar, wave and tidal – and in doing so create more opportunities for British business.
• Promote combined heat and power schemes and micro-generation technology.
• Lead by example through Government procurement and property management policies.
• Cut Vehicle Excise Duty on the least polluting new cars.
• Colour code tax discs to show the carbon emissions category of each vehicle.
• Double the grants available for purchasers of leading edge low emission cars and for fitting emission reducing equipment to other cars.
• Cut traffic congestion, and therefore pollution, through a £70 million per year fund dedicated to supporting innovative local initiatives.
• Make airport expansion conditional on the inclusion of aviation in emissions trading schemes.
All of this adds up to the most serious climate change programme ever seen in this country. After years of going backwards under Labour, only the Conservatives can deliver progress on the most important environmental issue of our time.