Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Cornwall Tories reject 10-10 commitment

It was all just a greenwash then - at least, that's the message Cornwall's Conservatives gave today when they rejected a proposal to sign up to the 10-10 campaign. That puts them at odds with their own Party Leadership - David Cameron, George Osborne (hell, even Ken Clarke) have all signed up to reduce their CO2 emissions by 10% by the end of 2010.

But not Cornwall's Conservatives.

At today's Full Council meeting there was a cross party motion asking for support for the Cornwall Declaration -a local commitment to tackle climate change. That is all well and good, but it had no targets. If we are to take climate change seriously (and 81% of people think that it is a major problem) then we need to do something about it (and 74% of people agree with this). Thus was born the 10-10 campaign. It's backed by the Guardian and already supported by 16 local authorities and vast swathe of companies, individuals and other organisations as diverse as Cheshire Police and Tottenham Hotspur FC.

But not Cornwall's Conservatives.

I proposed an amendment to the original motion to include signing up to 10-10. Initially, all seemed to be going well. The Cabinet Member, Julian German (an Independent), agreed with me and accepted the amendment into the motion. He had previously listed all the things that the Council could and will do to cut its harmful emissions. Then he was told by his Cabinet Leader that he shouldn't have done so and ended up both arguing against and then voting against his own motion.

The argument used by Council Leader Alec Robertson is that it might be expensive to save the planet (I paraphrase slightly) and we can't necessarily afford it. And so he and many of his colleagues voted to take the support for 10-10 out again. There were a few Tories and Independents who abstained or voted with us, but sadly not enough.

A 10% cut in CO2 is only a small step in the right direction but it is a meaningful start. There are many of us who see commitments to cut CO2 by 80% by 2040 and who think that it is a long way off. We want to take steps now and this is the right thing to do.

It's such a shame that, for all the good words from David Cameron on the environment, Cornwall's Conservatives really don't get it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am really surprised you even consider mentioning Cheshire police when you talk about the environment.



Environment for Cheshire police is just a PR scam