British tories put U.S. conservatives to shame

conservatives.jpgU.K. conservatives are nothing like their American counterparts. They have recognized the serious threat of global warming and the political (and economic) opportunity in addressing this most challenging of problems. As reported this week:

A Conservative Party advisory group proposed on Thursday a mix of taxes, bans and incentives to green the country’s economy in a bid to beat global warming….

“This is a blueprint for a green revolution,” said group leader and former environment minister John Gummer. “I see no contradiction between greenness and economic success. The green revolution can do for Britain what the industrial revolution did a couple of hundred years ago.”

The conservative plan includes a broad range of policies affecting every aspect of the economy:

Under the Quality of Life proposals, stamp duty would be cut for greener homes, VAT on refurbishment would be cut, smart electricity meters would be installed in all homes and there would be lower council taxes for green homes.

Aviation, the fastest growing carbon emitter, would be brought into the tax fold with VAT on domestic flights and passenger duty shifted to a per-flight basis rather than per passenger to discourage empty flights.

Polluters would be penalised, recycling promoted, landfill banned, and public transport supported.

The proposals advocate moving towards decentralised energy generation to cut transmission losses and promote local participation, with a levy on the vast amounts of heat lost from traditional power stations.

Will this country ever see conservatives vying with progressives to lead the nation in a green revolution?

2 Responses to British tories put U.S. conservatives to shame

  1. DWPittelli says:

    This is nothing new, and not entirely to the Conservatives’ credit. Margaret Thatcher was very early on the CO2 Global Warming bandwagon. Her background as a chemist with limited elite political experience thus became much more relevant and respectable. And she was also thus aided in one (or two closely related) of her primary goals: the bloodying of the leftist coal miners’ union and the closing of unprofitable state-subsidized coal mines. That said, having additional motivations which are less than idealistic need not sully a move also made for moral purposes.

  2. Lou Grinzo says:

    In the UK (and most of the rest of the world) you have Conservatives and Liberals. In the US, you have a few Liberals, a range of Moderates, and the Neocons, with a gaping hole where true Conservatives used to be.

    As many others have pointed out, if he were alive today, Barry Goldwater would be a liberal, and he wouldn’t even recognize the stands many Republicans take on environmental, fiscal, privacy, and other issues.