As usual the Treasury is the reluctant guest at any environmental dinner table, but the comments made by the Chancellor at the Conservative Party Conference says a lot about the Treasury’s unwillingness to make this the Greenest Government, Ever. It is also interesting that the prepared version of George Osbornes speech to CPC11 did not mention CO2 emissions. But the delivered version did. Here it is in italics, the comments are mine.
Now we know that a decade of environmental laws and regulations are piling costs on the energy bills of households and companies. (Nod to Daily Mail readers)
Yes, climate change is a man made disaster. (We were waiting until you said it George, it wasn’t really true until you made it so.)
Yes, we need international agreement to stop it. (So we in the UK can stall until everyone agrees with us?, which will be never)
Yes, we must have investment in greener energy. And that’s why I gave the go ahead to the world’s first Green Investment Bank. (But it isn’t a Bank just yet)
But Britain makes up less than 2% of the world’s carbon emissions to China and America’s 40%. (So. do you mean to say that what we do doesn’t really matter in a worldwide context?, this figure ignores our imports and the emissions that go to making them, masking the true extent of the problem, particularly when much of what we import is made in China. Its our problem as well as theirs.)
We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business. (True, but the two are not related George. By adopting green policies and energy efficiencies we can save ourselves money and enjoy a slice of the fastest growing worldwide market in green tech. Saving the planet is good for business. Only Daily Mail readers think otherwise.)
So let’s at the very least resolve that we’re going to cut our carbon emissions no slower but also no faster than our fellow countries in Europe. (Which countries George? Germany or Greece. To match Germany’s efforts we are going to have to get our skates on.)
That’s what I’ve insisted on in the recent carbon budget.
Really George, if you must deal with CO2 emissions in a conference speech you must get the big picture right. Much of this is contrary to policy and UK Law and a lot of it will be disagreeable to your partners in Coalition. Appealing to your Daily Mail voters is not what you need to be doing, they will always vote for you. The rest of us, sensible, intelligent people are much less likely to ever vote for you as a result of this populist nonsense.
I suppose it could have been worse, you could have denied climate change. Why not? It would have made as much sense as the things you did say.