Tories’ green credentials muted in Scotland

The Conservatives’ green credentials have been dented by claims they are the least environmentally-friendly party in Scotland.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) analysed the manifestos of the major Scottish candidates to see whether they had endorsed the ten proposals the charity highlighted as an environmental priority.

The Conservatives have failed to incorporate a single proposal, despite leader David Cameron attempting to re-brand the Conservatives as a ‘green’ choice for voters.

FoE chief executive Duncan McLaren said: “Despite the growing rhetoric from David Cameron in Westminster, the Conservatives have the least firm commitment to environmental policies, with their manifesto including none of FoE Scotland’s benchmark proposals.”

The Liberal Democrats challenged Mr Cameron to disown his “toxic Tories” north of the border. Environment spokesman Chris Huhne said: “Far from voting blue and going green, environmentally minded voters will go purple with anger when they find out what the Tories actually do, rather than what they say.”

Mr Cameron launched his party’s local election campaign with the slogan “vote blue, go green”. The modern Conservative party wants to improve the quality of life for everyone, he argued, and this includes focusing on the local environment.

The Conservatives have linked ‘green’ issues to health and safety rather than more conventional green standards. Mr Cameron insisted greener streets are safer streets.

“Conservatives have a great record on fighting crime and grime at the local level. The figures show that Conservative councils have the cleanest streets, with lower levels of litter, graffiti and fly-posting. All over the country, communities have voted blue and gone green,” Mr Cameron said.

With the other parties rating more highly and the Conservatives unlikely to form a Scottish administration after May 3rd, FoE concluded that the next executive will likely launch its own climate change bill and is unlikely to endorse plans for new nuclear power stations in Scotland.

After a nine out of ten score for the Green party, the SNP and Labour showed the strongest support for FoE’s proposals while the Lib Dems have the broadest range of environmental policies.

“In any plausible coalition there will be legislation to accelerate action on climate change,” predicted Mr McLaren.