Boris Johnson has promised to “advance” Defra’s current policy programme if elected Prime Minister, as both he and leadership rival Jeremy Hunt sought to promote their environmental credentials at a meeting of influential Conservative MPs in Parliament yesterday evening. Appearing at the launch of the Conservative Environment Network’s (CEN) green manifesto, Johnson told MPs he wanted to see the Conservative Party “continuing to lead on the environment”, adding that the public “want to see us in the UK continuing to globally champion the cause”. The former Foreign Secretary, who is favourite to succeed Theresa May as PM, talked up his green record as London Mayor on air quality and decarbonisation, but set out no specific new policies nor pledges on the environment. He also declined to stay after his speech to answer any questions from his colleagues. However, he argued there was “massive scope” for boosting jobs and growth in “green technologies of all kinds”, particularly in batteries which he described as “the future of transportation and energy storage”. Johnson’s comments came at the launch of CEN’s new manifesto, which includes a broad green declaration which has so far secured the backing of 41 Conservative MPs, including former Cabinet Minister Sir Oliver Letwin and former London Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith. The declaration expresses support for the UK’s statutory 2050 net zero greenhouse gas emissions goal and argues the best route to achieving it is through a “prosperous market economy”. It also recognises “the gravity of the global environmental crisis” and argues “the UK has duty to display global leadership” on the issue. Both Johnson and his leadership rival Hunt expressed their broad support for a strong environmental programme in government, but stopped short of explicitly endorsing any of the specific policies or the declaration set out in the CEN manifesto.
Business Green 3rd July 2019 read more »
The Conservative Environmental Network (CEN) has released its manifesto, outlining ideas for how the Conservative Party could tackle the climate emergency, including the removal of barriers to solar and storage. The CEN, an independent forum, MP caucus and membership organisation for conservative MPs that are supportive of conservation and decarbonisation, released its “optimistic” manifesto yesterday. The removal of the feed-in tariff (FiT) and subsequent wait for the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), as well as the proposed increase in VAT from 5% to 20%, mean solar is facing “unnecessary headwinds”, the CEN says. In its manifesto, the CEN suggests the scrapping of the proposed VAT hike. Legislation for the change in VAT was put forward late last month, despite having received strong criticism from industry.
Solar Power Portal 3rd July 2019 read more »