Current Environmental Issues
- Food safety - GM crops- , sources of energy, preserving endagered species, researching new 'cleaner' energy resources, climate change, traffic congestion, rainfroest destruction, air and water pollution.
- Environemental presure groups - Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, The National Trust, the Royal Scoety for the Protection of Birds, The Woodland Trust.
- Government seeks advice from these groups when creating policy.
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Importance to Politicians
- Increasingly important, however it is never considered to be a vote winner or a vote loser.
- Not reciveved much attention before now
- Many of the electorate care about the environment but it tends to be of secondary importance.
- 2010 saw the elction of the first Green party member to the House of Commons.
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- 1965 & 1968 - Clean Air Act
- 1974 - Control of Pollution Act
- 1987 - Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution was set up.
- 1989 - The National Rivers Authority was set up
- 1990 - The Environemtal Protection Act
- 1995 - The Environmental Agency was set up
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New Labour and the Environment
- The 'Third Way' put the enviroment at the centre of LAbour's policy priorities.
- Labour supported businesses but belived that , where possible, they should consider environmental issues as part of their work.
- Lbaour believed that industrial development could happen whilst still considering environmental factors.
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New Labour Environmental Transport Policies
- Large grants put towards electric cars
- Introduction of the Congestion Charge in London in 2003
- Approval of HS2
- New line could transfer 4.5 million journeys from the air and 9 million journeys from the road thus benefiting the environment.
- Claims that phase one will creat 40000 jobs.
- Knock on benefits and a boost in the econonmy.
- Conservative MPs who have the line passing through their constituencies argue against it.
- Cut throguh countryside and destroy habitats.
- Wil take a long time to biuld and will on knock off a few minutes.
- Road Tax altered so vehicles were charged on their emissions rather than engine size.
- Increased tax on petrol and diesal (green tax)
- Stopping of the third runway at Heathrow.
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1997 Kyoto Agreement
- Signed by Prescott on behalf of Britan.
- Aimed to make progress in cutting harmful emissions.
- Targets set for cutting emissions:
- USA 7%
- EU 8%
- Japan 6%.
- Efforts made for Kyoto:
- 1998 promised more investment into public transport.
- 2003 Ken Livingston introduced Congestion Charge for London
- Aimed to icnrease fuel tax.
- 2000 mass protests over fuel duty.
- Brown however borught fuel duties down due to protesting.
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Carbon Emission Targets
- 1990-2005 all greenhouse gases to be reduceds by 80%
- 1990-2020 carbon dioxide emissions to be reduced by 26%
- 1990-2022 a series of carbon budgets were to be created which would aim to reduce emission gradually through budgetary measures:
- Grants for householders to insulate their homes.
- Grants for builders who build ‘zero carbon’ housing.
- Different road tax duties depending on the emissions of the vehicle.
- Zero tax on electric vehicles.
- £35 tax on hybrids and some other very small vehicles.
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Renewable Energy Targets
- EU agreement 2007 committed all EU countries to increase renewable energy by 2020.
- Britain's target is to produce 15% of energy through renewable sources by 2020.
- In 2008 the figure was 1.8%.
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Coalition Environmental Policies
- Green investment bank set up by Chris Hume.
- Intented to promote and fund environmental projects.
- Government money is put into the bank and can be accessed by compaines who want to pursue green policies.
- Green taxes introduced by Labour but extended further by the coalition.
- Fair fuel stabiliser
- Ensure stable price at the pump for consumers.
- Allows consumers to budget effectively as the price of oil fluctuates.
- Coalition has approved addition of HS2 expected to reduce road traffic.
- Coalition committed to not expanding Heathrow.
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