Fact check: the Tory record on the environment

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.  

✅ Scottish Government support for low carbon energy has helped ensure that over 50 per cent of our electricity needs are now generated by renewables. In 2016, Scotland generated 24 per cent of total UK renewable electricity.
❌ The UK government has scrapped support for onshore wind and scaled back support for solar power. As a result, the Green Alliance think-tank expects investment in low carbon energy projects across the UK to fall by 95 per cent over the next three years.

✅ 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.