The Conservative Party has secured a second term in Downing Street, making great gains in England and Wales and fending off any possibility of a coalition government.
The next five years, however, may prove interesting where the international fight to combat global warming is concerned. The Party has claimed “Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today. It is not just a threat to the environment, but also to our national and global security, to poverty eradication and economic prosperity.”
The party manifesto on energy and environment says they will scrap subsidies for new onshore wind farms (possibly the cheapest means of low-carbon energy) and continue to ‘frack’.
We may see a lack of new money being put forward for flood defences. The Tories pledge was to build 1,400 new flood defence scheme to protect 300,000 homes on top of the £3bn already spent on flood defences. This is already considered to be inadequate (by the government’s own climate change advisors) and, given that the environment department was heavily cut under the last government, it is inevitable that further cuts can be expected.
Where the wider environment is concerned things are slightly more positive with promises to continue to do even more to tackle air pollution, clean up rivers and lakes and introduce a programme of pocket parks in towns and cities, as well as planting 11 million new trees.
Let’s hope the new five years proves positive for the environment and that flood defences get the backing they need, helping to prevent the devastation that our increasingly unpredictable weather can cause to the UK’s homes and businesses.
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