Tories for Climate Action launches to provide sensible alternative to Extinction Rebellion
A new campaign group has been launched to provide Conservative members and candidates a means to provide sensible and sustainable solutions to the environmental problems.
"Bring me solutions, not problems," goes the saying. For anyone who has ever worked in an office it's an annoying statement - but it is also true. If you are going to identify something that needs fixed, you need some options on how to remedy it.
Which is why it is timely that Tories for Climate Action has launched. on bringing an environmental focus within the Conservative Party, is looking at practical opportunities to combat climate change. With a focus on education and supporting candidates who want to deliver progressive climate policies, this is grassroots action at its best - delivering a way for party members to get involved in finding solutions to a global problem. And whilst the UK is actually world leading in reducing carbon emissions, there is always scope to do better (especially with Brexit upcoming and our ability to negotiate at COP for ourselves, rather than as part of the EU bloc) - and, even more importantly, to lobby other nations who haven't committed the work that we have in the UK. Environmental policies are one of the issues that young voters are most interested in, especially at this time.
This is, of course, a Conservative solution - finding answers, looking at opportunities, looking at climate science and working with business to identify a way forward, and completely at odds with Extinction Rebellion's approach - no solutions, and demands of action that is not articulated and relies on an expectation that someone else will come up with the answers.
We know that real environmental action has worked in the past - the tax on plastic bags saw a drop of 85% within two years between 2014 and 2016 according to government data, drastically reducing one kind of single use plastic in the environment through industry led activity backed by regulation. Much of the success of this did not come from the government - many retailers simply stopped offering single use plastic bags, and the industry took responsibility for taking action.
And the hole the ozone layer - a major concern of the 80s and 90s, has reversed after the Montreal Protocol banning the use of CFCs across the world. A study using NASA evidence has shown that the hole is getting smaller, and evidence has linked the two as chlorine levels in the atmosphere drop. This, however, was achieved through a realistic, phased approach - it did not and could not happen overnight, but was ambitious enough to make the changes necessary.
This shows that negotiation, working with business, and policy goals can achieve what is needed. And now action is needed to drive forward reductions in carbon emissions. This will not be achieved overnight, and is exactly why is on business led solutions, realistic regulatory goals, educational strategies and community answers.
Elizabeth Anderson coordinated Vote Leave campaigns for South East London in the 2016 referendum. She also co-founded Women 4 Westminster, a campaign group which provided support to Conservative women candidates during the 2017 General Election.
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