Conservative Party Conference: Cameron ignores climate change

Despite highlighting climate change as one of the 'biggest challenges of this generation' at the Climate Summit last week, Cameron made no mention of the issue in his final conference speech before next year's general election today, other than to announce that the UK is 'leading, not following, on climate change.'

The Prime Minister’s speech follows that of Chancellor George Osborne on Monday, which also made no mention of climate change and only a fleeting reference to renewable energy on Monday. 

Speaking at the Labour Party Conference last month, Labour Leader Ed Miliband attacked Cameron over his environmental record, accusing the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition of failing to deliver on its promise to be the ‘Greenest Government Ever’.

Miliband also pledged to create one million green jobs as part of a 10-year plan to make Britain a global leader in clean technology.

Industry Reaction

Friends of the Earth campaigner Donna Hume

David Cameron claimed Britain is leading on climate change, but in the next breath pledged new oil rigs.

“The Prime Minister doesn’t get it – we need to get off our addiction to dirty fossil fuels and shift to renewable energy that will generate thousands of jobs and bring our bills under control.

“Ministers must stop giving a leg up to dirty energy, including reckless and short-sighted fracking.”

Renewable Energy Association head of public affairs James Court

“If the Prime Minister wants Britain to lead the world in climate change, we need that to start that at home. The UK is currently third from bottom in the EU for renewable generation and faces a huge challenge in meeting our 2020 electric, heat and transport targets.

“Whoever forms the next government will have a lot of work to do in meeting those obligations, but more immediately the PM will have an opportunity to shape our energy future at the next European Council. We hope his actions match his rhetoric.”

Social media commentators were equally underwhelmed by the ‘green’ credentials of the Prime Minsters speech:

Lois Vallely and Brad Allen

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