Here's what George Monbiot wrote about how green Cameron's speech was:
Pic: Russ on Cameron - memories of the Tory poster below
So that's it, is it? Twenty-five words; 0.4% of the speech in which the leader of the "greenest government ever" lays out his vision for Britain. Here they are: "more green", "a new green investment bank, so the technologies of the future are developed, jobs created and our environment protected", and "carbon capture and storage". That, dear reader, is your lot. Even when Cameron recited a long list of his government's achievements, there wasn't a word about the environment. That's not surprising, for its achievements to date are hard to detect.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change survives by a whisker: Chris Huhne's speech to the Lib Dem conference was a desperate litany of wishful thinking, as there are no visible means of supporting his aspirations. Defra, which was supposed to be cutting quangos, has instead created a new one, whose purpose is to deregulate farming, already the greatest cause of habitat destruction and species loss. The Department for Transport has launched a new war on cyclists and pedestrians, by cutting road safety grants. There's nothing that could have fitted into a conference speech. So Cameron chose the wise course – silence – and hoped we wouldn't notice.
Oh dear oh dear what can I add?
Even Tories seem to have thrown out the Big Society idea - I mentioned earlier today the roadshows are off well now it seems even Tories are going cold on the idea...Charities are already challenged by the cuts in grants and contracts they are already suffering. An Ipsos Mori poll found that 55% of people had never even heard of the big society; 54% thought it was good in principle but wouldn't work in practice. Even if we had time and many of us barely have enough hours to parent and live. The big society is now surely dead?
Meanwhile going back to the green stuff - one measure not mentioned in the speech is the plan to get Tesco, B&Q, M&S and other companies to sell loft insulation and home energy improvements as part of an energy efficiency program - see Guardian here. As the article says" "...campaigners said there were concerns that the profits required by private companies would make the scheme too expensive, and they would focus on insulation which has the quickest pay-back and ignore more expensive measures which would deliver longer-term energy cuts, such as replacing inefficient boilers."
I have long lobbied for some form of "green deal" and their are some reasonable proposals but they don't go far enough by any means - and still the details are missing about how we can even begin to meet UK targets to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. It is also worrying if local authorities will now not have a "level playing field" to compete with private companies - even though they might well offer cheaper rates and be more trustworthy than some 'cowboys'. See here concerns re the so-called free solar offers.