Conservative political ideals should naturally lead
the government to implement policies which preserve the environment
and tackle climate change, a new report argues.
Prime minister David Cameron pledged to make his government the
'greenest' ever back in 2010. But since the Conservatives came to
power, the party seems to have undergone something of an identity
crisis, with the government's environmental agenda suffering a
number of setbacks.
Now, a group of Conservative politicians and thinkers is seeking
to reclaim an environmentalist agenda they see as dominated by
those on the left. The Conservative Environmental Network's (CEN)
report calls for Conservative leaders to promote a climate action
agenda based on conservationism and free market ideals.
CEN's report isn't the first attempt to lay out the core
principles of a new Conservative environmentalism, however. Last
month, a group of Conservative MPs and peers, known as the 2020
called for new policies to make the economy less wasteful,
and more environmentally robust.
But while the 2020 group's report focused on the economic
benefits of adopting environmentally friendly policies, it
studiously tiptoed around the issue of climate change. In contrast,
CEN's report isn't afraid to tackle climate policy
specifically, as part of a wider set of environmental policies.
Climate change and environmental
CEN's report lays out why Conservatives should spearhead
environmental stewardship policies, including those that tackle
"Environmentalists, if they're honest with themselves, should be
Conservatives", argues Roger Scruton, senior fellow at Conservative
thinktank the Ethics and Public Policy Centre.