The Environment

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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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Environmental Legislation

  • 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

  • Transport
    • Large grants put towards electric cars 
    • Introduction of the Congestion Charge in London in 2003
    • Approval of HS2 
      • PROS:
        • 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.
      • CONS:
        • 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.
        • Expensive. 
    • 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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