Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) executive director Nick Reeves revealed to edie his concerns that the ex-environment secretary is not prioritising his agendas.

“It was disappointing that the former climate change secretary didn’t refer to the biggest challenge he’ll face as Prime Minister: charting a course for a low carbon economy for the new green jobs that will get Britain working, exporting and innovating again.”

However, Reeves was confident that the party had the potential to beat the Conservatives on green policy:
“The Prime Minister in-waiting had a reasonable grasp of the green agenda when in office. He really could lead ‘the greenest government ever’.”

Friends of the Earth’s policy and campaigns director Craig Bennett said: “A tub-thumping speech, but where was the green bit?

“We need a one planet approach to compliment Ed Miliband’s one nation vision.”
Although Labour’s leader remained quiet on the environment, Friends of the Earth took comfort in Ed Balls’ speech at the same conference on Monday where the Shadow Chancellor endorsed clean British energy.

Bennett said: “Ed Balls’ warm words on the economic benefits of clean British energy leave George Osborne and his reckless dash for gas looking increasingly isolated.”

While many campaigners see the conservatives and their gas drive as a possible obstacle to a green economy, it has been noted that the Liberal Democrats may be winning the race for green hearts. 

In a distinct contrast to Miliband, Nick Clegg used his conference speech last week to condemn his Coalition partners for abandoning their green ambitions.

He said: “And yes, a clean, green economy too, powered by the new low-carbon technologies, [with] Britain leading the world.”

“Let the Conservatives be in no doubt. We will hold them to their promises on the environment. To make blue go green you have to add yellow, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Conor McGlone

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