It’s more than a decade since David Cameron hugged a husky and urged people to ‘Vote Blue, Go Green’ – yet the Tory record on the environment has never matched this rhetoric.
The UK government has now launched a new plan for the environment but on so many issues they’re playing catch-up with our approach in Scotland.
Here’s how the Tory record on the environment measures up to SNP Scottish Government’s.
✅ The First Minister announced in September 2017 that a deposit return scheme would be introduced in Scotland.
↪️ Six months later the UK government announced that it would follow Scotland’s lead and introduce a deposit return scheme.
✅ The 5p carrier bag charge was introduced in Scotland in 2014 and applied to large and small retailers from the outset.
❌ A charge on single-use carrier bags was introduced in England in 2015 and is only now being extended to smaller retailers.
✅ Following the most far reaching investigations into unconventional oil and gas of any government, and an extensive public consultation, the Scottish Government has put in place a ban on fracking in Scotland.
❌ The UK government has a track record of supporting and encouraging the use of fracking to extract oil and gas. In England, companies are actively exploring potential onshore oil and gas resources.
✅ The First Minister announced in September 2017 that a new expert panel would be set up to look at measures that can be taken to end the throwaway culture, including a coffee cup levy. And a consultation has been launched on banning plastic cotton buds.
❌ The Tory government has now announced that it will look at further measures to tackle single-use plastic.
✅ In the coming year the Scottish Government will double spending on walking and cycling – spending at least £14.80 per head, more than double the UK rate.
❌ In England, excluding London, spending on walking and cycling is just £6.50 per head.
✅ The Scottish Government will remove the need for new petrol and diesels cars in Scotland by 2032. And we’ll make the A9 the UK’s first electric highway.
❌ The UK government has promised to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 eight years behind the Scottish target.
✅ The Scottish Government established the world’s first Climate Justice Fund in 2012 – recognising that developed countries that have contributed most to climate change in the past, have a responsibility to support countries that now face the worst impacts.
❌ The UK government has no equivalent Climate Justice Fund.