It’s not all about Brexit – here’s what the Tories don’t want to talk about pre-election

theresa may
Support us and go ad-free

So far Theresa May’s election campaigning has consisted of saying almost exactly the same things almost all the time. While this may be a deliberate strategy, it’s also a handy way of dodging tough topics.

Climate change hasn’t been high on the Conservative agenda since May took office last year. In fact, it’s probably safe to say it’s pretty far down the agenda. So far down, in fact, that one of the first things she did was to disband the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

The energy brief is now shoe-horned into the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Climate change is even more of an afterthought. It’s now lumped in alongside industry to Climate Change and Industry minister Nick Hurd’s remit.

This briefing [pdf] about the merger, released in July 2016, shows that climate change is consistently second to economic growth:

One of the main challenges in tackling climate change is to try to reduce carbon emissions without jeopardising economic growth.

May has been criticised from the beginning for her disregard of the subject. She gave climate change just a “cursory” mention in her speech at the last Tory party conference, mentioning “business” 14 times and “economy” 26 times.

And now?

That theme continues into the present.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Have you heard anything about the Tories’ environmental policy for the election? No? Well, that’s probably because they haven’t really got much of one. They’d much rather scrap subsidies for green energy and grant fracking licenses in national parks. Of course, you wouldn’t know it, because they bury controversial announcements in news about things they do want to talk about, like Brexit meaning Brexit and “strong, stable leadership”.

Avoiding the question

At least the Tories are consistent. They hide everything that they don’t want people to hear about. If it’s not about new fracking licenses, it’s about the ‘Tory dirty money’ scandal or MPs’ election expenses.

The latest thing the Conservatives are failing to discuss is how the UK will reduce its carbon emissions. This will be hard to achieve while the government is propping up ailing industries like coal with subsidies, a move the competition watchdog has warned against.

This shows the Conservatives’ true colours. They’ve cut funding for renewables, but lined the pockets of their pals in the fossil fuel sector.  This is despite the popularity of greener alternatives. The Conservative party really are the party of business.

If it’s not Brexit, then it’s the general election

The government is required to publish plans to demonstrate how it will meet the carbon budgets required by the Climate Change Act 2008. However, the release of the next Emissions Reduction Plan, also known as the Clean Growth Plan, has been repeatedly delayed. First the EU referendum got in the way, and then it was put off until February, and then March 2017. The reason for the latest delay is the snap general election announcement.

Speaking to the BEIS Select Committee, Hurd said the plan is in a “holding pattern”. He didn’t give any clear information about whether or not the plan would be released before the 8th of June.

Evidently, climate change is not quite as important to Theresa’s Tories as it was in 2010, when the Conservatives promised to be the “greenest government ever”.

Or perhaps May is just more honest about her priorities. Theresa May was clear from the start that she doesn’t give a monkey’s about climate change. David Cameron failed to turn his promise into reality because, after all, he’s a Tory. And of course, the Conservatives prioritise economic growth over everything else.

Get Involved!

Register to vote in the 8 June general election.

Read more from The Canary on the 2017 general election.

– Check out more articles from The Canary’s Environment section.

– Read and support independent news outlets that hold the powerful to account. Here are some we recommend. Please add more that you like in the comments:

The Canary, Media Diversified, Novara Media, Corporate Watch, Common Space, Media Lens, Bella Caledonia,Vox Political, Evolve Politics, Real Media, Reel News, STRIKE! magazine, The Bristol CableThe Meteor,Salford Star, The Ferret.

Featured image via Flickr

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed