Ainsworth: Govt not making use of green solutions

The solutions that the UK needs to become greener already exist but Gordon Brown's government is not using making use of them, according to shadow environment secretary Peter Ainsworth.

Speaking at the Sustainabilitylive! exhibition in Birmingham on Wednesday, Mr Ainsworth said many of those solutions were on display around him.

Introducing feed-in tariffs and requiring the use of carbon capture and storage technology with any new coal-fired power plants are among the ways that the Conservatives would do things differently, he told delegates.

He also slammed Government’s flagship eco-towns policy, which will see up to 15 new towns built across England.

“Building vast new developments away from existing settlements on Greenfield is not ‘eco’ no matter how much lagging you put in the loft,” he said.

He also agreed with a recently-concluded Defra study which said that the UK was not ready to introduce personal carbon trading as a way of cutting emissions.

“I think it’s an idea whose time has not yet come,” he said.

“Politics is the art of the possible and I think if you started telling everybody that they had to have a carbon quota and bear it in mind if they wanted to go on holiday, drive the car or put the heater on, I think that’s just a step too far.

“I think there would be a revolution if we tried to introduce it.”

Mr Ainsworth told edie that he believes Sustainabilitylive is an important event for people working in the environmental industry.

“It’s a great way of bringing people together to share ideas about new technologies, to raise awareness of new developments, to enable people who are creating businesses in this sector to know that they are not alone – to know that actually there’s a growing army of people making good businesses and profitable companies out of helping people to go green,” he said.

Kate Martin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie