Presentation Title

Conservatives Combating Climate Change: Energy & Environmental Policy in the UK

Advisor Information

Timi Barone

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

4-3-2016 10:45 AM

End Date

4-3-2016 11:00 AM

Abstract

The British Conservative Party has been in power over forty years since World War II and has contributed to the early environmental, anti-pollution, clean energy, and climate change movements in the twentieth century as well as today. Successive Conservative governments have switched energy sources away from coal and oil, which almost exclusively dominated their energy portfolio until the 1980s, and have grown significant sources of wind, solar, and tidal energy over the last thirty years. From the time of Winston Churchill to David Cameron today, Conservative Party leaders have helped create many of the institutions governing clean energy policy: the Clean Air Act in 1956, the world’s first Department of the Environment in 1970, the Department of Energy in 1974, exceeding their own Kyoto Protocol emissions targets since 2010, and crafting more ambitious energy goals for the Paris climate summit last year. These policies and initiatives stand in significant contrast to the US Republican Party, in which American conservatives don’t even acknowledge the scientific evidence supporting climate change. The discourse in both British and wider European politics is virtually devoid of the climate skepticism shared in the American conservative movement. This presentation seeks to explain the history and current policy directions of British Conservative climate change and environmental priorities, with emphasis on the achievements and short-comings of the current Conservative government in power since 2010, and the stark differences between what it means to be a conservative in Europe and the United States.

Comments

Winner of Meritorious Undergraduate Oral Presentation

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COinS
 
Mar 4th, 10:45 AM Mar 4th, 11:00 AM

Conservatives Combating Climate Change: Energy & Environmental Policy in the UK

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

The British Conservative Party has been in power over forty years since World War II and has contributed to the early environmental, anti-pollution, clean energy, and climate change movements in the twentieth century as well as today. Successive Conservative governments have switched energy sources away from coal and oil, which almost exclusively dominated their energy portfolio until the 1980s, and have grown significant sources of wind, solar, and tidal energy over the last thirty years. From the time of Winston Churchill to David Cameron today, Conservative Party leaders have helped create many of the institutions governing clean energy policy: the Clean Air Act in 1956, the world’s first Department of the Environment in 1970, the Department of Energy in 1974, exceeding their own Kyoto Protocol emissions targets since 2010, and crafting more ambitious energy goals for the Paris climate summit last year. These policies and initiatives stand in significant contrast to the US Republican Party, in which American conservatives don’t even acknowledge the scientific evidence supporting climate change. The discourse in both British and wider European politics is virtually devoid of the climate skepticism shared in the American conservative movement. This presentation seeks to explain the history and current policy directions of British Conservative climate change and environmental priorities, with emphasis on the achievements and short-comings of the current Conservative government in power since 2010, and the stark differences between what it means to be a conservative in Europe and the United States.