Conservative Manifesto 2010 Protect the Environment Combat Climate Change
We will reduce carbon emissions in line with our international commitments. We will promote small-and large-scale low carbon energy production, including nuclear, wind, clean coal and biogas. We will safeguard our energy security by ensuring there is sufficient spare capacity in the energy system. We will make it easier to go green, including through a ‘Green deal’ to cut household energy bills.
Labour’s failure on climate change has been stark. Strong rhetoric has not been matched by effective action – it took the longest and deepest recession for sixty years for Labour to achieve any significant reduction in the UK’s carbon emissions. We need to generate 15 per cent of our energy from renewables by 2020, but we have one of the worst records of any eU nation when it comes to renewable energy. our national security is threatened by a looming energy crunch in which a third of our electricity generating capacity will close, and most of our gas will need to be imported by 2020.
Yet britain is uniquely placed to be the world’s first low carbon economy: we have the natural resources to generate wind and wave power, a skilled workforce trained in the energy industry, a hi-tech manufacturing sector and a green financial centre in the City of London.
We urgently need to make this transition in order to strengthen our economy, help guarantee our energy security and protect our environment for future generations.
ambitious goals for reducing emissions
Climate change is a global phenomenon, and that means the world must work together to reduce harmful emissions. a Conservative government will work towards an ambitious global deal that will limit emissions and make available substantial financial resources for adaptation and mitigation.
as part of our commitment to move towards a low carbon future, we can confirm our aim of reducing carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. in government, we will lead from the front by delivering a 10 per cent cut in central government emissions within twelve months and by working with local authorities and others to deliver emissions reductions.
Promote low carbon energy production
the way our energy is produced and transmitted is stuck in the last century. a Conservative government will transform this ‘dumb’, unresponsive network and create an ‘electricity internet’ – a highly interactive network, based on a new smart grid that will interact with smart meters in people’s homes, to manage supply and demand. this will allow a huge increase in renewable power, and far greater choice for consumers.
To limit harmful emissions from UK power stations, we will take steps to encourage new low carbon energy production, including:
• introducing an emissions Performance Standard to limit the levels of greenhouse gases our power stations produce;
• clearing the way for new nuclear power stations – provided they receive no public subsidy;
• creating four carbon capture and storageequipped plants, taking coal – one of the most polluting fuels of all – and transforming it into a low carbon fuel of the future;
• delivering an offshore electricity grid in order to support the development of a new generation of offshore wind power, and establishing at least two marine energy Parks;
• giving local authorities the power to establish new district heating networks which use biogas and other low carbon fuels;
• allowing communities that host renewable energy projects like wind farms to keep the additional business rates they generate for six years; and,
• giving incentives for smaller-scale energy generation, including capturing heat that is currently wasted. Safeguard the UK’s energy security
britain has had no clear energy policy for thirteen years. a succession of eleven energy ministers and eight Secretaries of State with responsibility for energy has left our policy muddled and put our energy security at risk. britain needs an energy policy that is clear, consistent and stable. that means that ministers will be unambiguously responsible for determining energy policy and delivering an annual energy Statement to Parliament to set a clear direction for energy policy. to safeguard our energy security, we will reform the energy regulator ofgem so that:
• it focuses on executing energy policy; • it is tasked with monitoring the spare capacity in the energy market and making provisions for additional capacity where required; and,
• its competition policy and consumer protection powers pass to the Office of fair trading.
as a result, we will cut the number of quangos intervening in the energy market.
Labour’s just-in-time approach to energy supply has left us badly exposed to events outside our control. We will work to diversify the sources of the gas we need, secure longterm contracts and increase storage capacity to guarantee supplies throughout the year.
help people go green
rising energy costs hit families hard, so we will create a ‘green Deal’, giving every home up to £6,500 worth of energy improvement measures – with more for hard-to-treat homes – paid for out of savings made on fuel bills over 25 years. We will increase consumers’ control over their energy costs by ensuring that every energy bill provides information on how to move to the cheapest tariff offered by their supplier and how their energy usage compares to similar households.
We will improve the energy efficiency of everyday appliances by drawing on the experience of the ‘top runner’ scheme from japan.
to help further, we will:
• ensure that 10 per cent of the staff directly employed by ‘green Deal’ providers are apprentices, helping to build a green collar workforce for the future;
• keep Energy Performance Certificates to help people improve the environmental rating of their property; and,
• give Post Office Card Account holders the chance to benefit from direct debit discounts, worth up to £150 a year.
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