Conservative manifesto – Friends of the Earth reaction

Responding to the publication of the Conservative Party Manifesto, Mike Childs, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, said:

“The Conservative are attempting the impossible by pledging to maintain global leadership on climate change while walking backwards on the measures needed to reduce carbon emissions.

“This manifesto falls so far short of what’s needed it reads like the party has given-up on the long-held conservative value of protecting the environment for future generations.”

How the Conservative manifesto misfires on the environment: 

  • It promises a spending splurge on roads, annual oil and gas licensing and new gas-fired powered stations.
  •  It wants to accelerate the roll out of renewable energy – while continuing a de-facto block on onshore wind in England, as well as being negative towards solar farm developments.
  • It promises £1 billion for new bus routes – but against a backdrop of bus services falling by half under the party’s tenure.
  • It says it will fund energy efficiency for one million homes – yet there are almost 10 million low-income homes badly in need of insulation.
  • It rails against the cost of installing heat pumps – but unlike the Liberal Democrats fails to follow the advice of its own National Infrastructure Commission which says low-income households should get 100% grants to cover the cost.
  • It recommits to halting nature’s decline by 2030 – but provides no new money or measures that will deliver on the failing progress to date.