Conservatives will not ‘burden’ economy to meet climate targets

The Conservative party will not decarbonise the UK and meet climate targets by over burdening the British economy and sending jobs overseas, climate change minister, Greg Barker, said at today's Conservative Party Conference.

In his speech, Barker addressed the Conservatives position on environmental issues and focused on the party’s pursuit to balance its clean energy agenda and stabilising the economy.

Barker said: “We have a distinct Conservative approach that puts jobs, growth and value for money at the centre of our green agenda”.

“Green Growth isn’t just a catch phrase for us it is at the heart of our vision of a prosperous, sustainable economy”.

He added that the Conservatives would not meet its green goals by “forcing up family energy bills”.

The minister then suggested that meeting green targets while keeping energy prices down was only possible through a diverse energy mix.

He made it clear that the Conservatives will continue to include fossil fuel in the UK’s energy mix going forward, claiming that this would allow the UK to meet its environmental and economic needs.

“We reject the false notion that you have to choose between cheap fossil fuels or expensive clean energy”, said Barker.

Other areas covered in Barker’s speech included the government’s Green Deal and feed in tariffs.

“The Green Deal will quite simply be Britain’s most ambitious home improvement programme ever”, said Barker.

“It will help people make their homes warmer, cosier and nicer places to live, offering home improvements, that to date have been completely out of reach to millions of families”.

Barker also suggested that the party’s reforming of the feed in tariff scheme will deliver better value to consumers and “more ambition to the scheme”.

“I am passionate about extending the whole decentralised energy agenda, for homes, businesses and communities, and thanks to our prudent reforms, we now have the very real prospect of installing four times as many solar panels as Ed Miliband but at a third of the cost”.

Leigh Stringer

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