Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Where have all the Green Tories gone?

Over on my website I've listed some of the pledges I've signed up to during the course of this campaign; it's by no means an exhaustive list, but covers some of those I've been asked to sign by several constituents, or perhaps those I feel particularly strongly about. One such pledge was from Friends of the Earth, which is featured in a Guardian report today, highlighting how few Tory candidates have signed up to it.

The four parts to the pledge are:
  • international agreement to tackle climate change, where those responsible make the deepest cuts first and developing countries are supported to grow in a local carbon way;
  • local carbon budgets;
  • a 42% reduction in UK emissions by 2020;
  • tackling greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation caused by the UK's dependence on imported feeds for livestock.

I'm not sure where on the Friends of the Earth website you can check which candidates have signed up to the pledge, 'though I've found the bit which records how many letters each local candidate has been sent. (I've had six, the Tory has had nine).

Anyway, for the record, I signed up to three out of four of the pledges, and gave the other one half a thumbs up. (That was the one on a 42% cut in emissions by 2020. Ed Miliband has said that signing up to a new agreement would mean increasing our current commitment to cut emissions by 34% by 2020, and it would have been easy for me to go along with the 42%, but I'm just not sure it's deliverable and didn't want to make an empty promise. But in theory, yes, we need to up our targets and be more ambitious).

My most enthusiastic response was, as you might expect, for the "Fix the Food Chain" pledge, about livestock's impact on the environment. I may not be one of the 277 MPs who signed the Early Day Motion on this (because I couldn't, not being a backbencher), but I think I'm still the only MP to have called a debate on the topic in the Commons.

By the way - the last hustings of the Bristol East campaign is tonight, at the City Academy, hosted by Greenpeace. I've watched the Bristol West one online, on Paul Smith's website, (well, it's two hours long and I can't claim to have given it my undivided attention, but it was on in the background). It will be interesting to see how the questions differ in our patch.


Unknown said...

You can check to see if your candidate has signed up to Friends of the Earth's climate pledges here http://election.foe.co.uk/spreadsheet

Glenn Vowles said...

Since you are on the topic of 'green' Tories its well worth pointing out that Tory Candidate Adeela Shafi did not turn up to the Greenpeace hustings meeting you refer to - and a pattern of Adeela not attending meetings is apparent as this is the fourth one I've attended that she has not. No-one stood in for her either. Very poor.