David Cameron has 'failed to address growing scepticism on climate change' report claims
Seven leading charities have assessed the green performance of coalition ministers and Labour shadow ministers since the last general election, in a new report published today.
The charities, including WWF, RSPB, Greenpeace, the Wildlife Trusts and Friends of the Earth, reviewed the parties on four key areas: the economy, communities, nature and international leadership.
Although the assessment has identified a good performance by individual ministers and shadow ministers, it reveals that none of the parties have a coherent environmental programme and there is no consistent public leadership on the environment from any of the party leaders.
Among the findings from the report, The Green Standard 2013, the Liberal Democrats have made an impact on low carbon decisions but have failed to make the environment central to their governing project. "They are subsequently losing their identity as a 'green party'" the report states.
Turning to the Prime Minister, the groups say that David Cameron has failed to address the growing scepticism about climate change in the Conservative Party and that, as PM, he needs to "signal stronger support for UK green policies".
However, a number of Conservative ministers are praised for their performance in international negotiations.
The report also finds that whilst Labour receives recognition for supporting the development of a low carbon economy, and for opposing the sell-off of public forests and the badger cull, the review concludes that there is still "no real sense that the environment is at the heart of One Nation Labour".
Director of think tank Green Alliance, Matthew Spencer, who edited the review said: "In private our party leaders speak eloquently about the importance of environmental stewardship to their political mission, but they have rarely made the case publicly since the election.
"As a result the coalition has lost momentum as a reforming government seeking to be green. The opposition is raising its game, but has been slow to develop the policy ideas necessary to realise its ambition," he added.
Drawing on the work of specific MPs, the report says that while George Osborne has framed environmental policy as an obstacle to growth, not as a route to prosperity, William Hague, Richard Benyon and Greg Barker have shown leadership in international negotiations.
In addition, the report praises Ed Miliband and Ed Balls for showing promising leadership on the low carbon economy.
It also praises the Liberal Democrats for winning some significant battles on climate change, but labels Ed Davey's performance on the detail of electricity market reform as "patchy".