Over the last decade we have seen the green agenda blow up and be a big issue on the national and international stage and parties have struggled to make themselves "look the most green". Our coalition partners like to be seen as the friends of the planet and labour like to see themselves as world ambassadors on the "climate change agenda". But at the same time we have seen people polarised by a subject which has had little in objective outcomes, despite the billions invested and the time spent on discussing it by our national politicians.
The debate is often about:
does climate change exist?
- I say we can measure and see it happening so yes.
Are we its cause?
- I say we need more evidence to have a positive assertion that we do, but we are likely to be a significant contributor to it.
What do we do about it?
- I say let's tear up the agenda and start again!
As Conservatives we need to make this issue our own we are not the "protectors of the world" or "world ambassadors for climate change" like the lib dems and labour. We are leading the UK government and local uk councils in the face of some significant economic and local challenges here. The debate about cause or effect is a "moot point" we as a nation can not make a significant impact on preventing or reducing climate change even if we turned out the lights tomorrow. So the question is why in a period of economic turmoil should we continue to pour billions into pet projects and feel good global conferences on the issue?
I want to see a conservative party making green "local" we need to talk about clean rivers not clean wind power, we need to discuss waste management and landfill not how we manage global carbon emissions and we need to look at our local wildlife and nature reserves not what's happening in far off nations that we have very little impact on. As a party we have pushed the "Big society" and localism agenda, now is the time to take up the baton and make this issue a truly local and conservative led campaign.
When people say "think green" I want the response to be "think local" this needs to be our mantra up and down the uk adding it to the fantastic social action projects local conservatives are already involved in.
I know I've joined a party with a truly local focus now I'm asking is it time we made green the big local issue too...