Thursday, 14 May 2015

After the recent election held on the 7th May the Conservatives won the majority votes, meaning the parliament isn't hung and Conservatives will be in power of the country until the next election, but, how will this affect our environment? David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party, unveiled his manifesto a few months prior to the election, which includes a variety of environmental policies. 
Onshore wind farming is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, with over two and a half thousand farms around the United Kingdom. Asides from its questionable aesthetic, many argue that wind farming is not used to its full potential when based on land. The Conservatives plan to "halt the spread of onshore wind farms.” However, the party has angered green developers by confirming the plans to end the development of any further onshore wind farms in the UK, even if the method often fails to win public support.
Furthermore, as Prime Minister, David Cameron pledged to support the UK Climate Change Act (2008) which hopes to reduce emissions by at least 80% by 2050. Another part of the manifesto stated to provide support to poorer countries when facing the ever changing climate. As well as this, it is said that more will be done to tackle air pollution, clean rivers/lakes, plant eleven million trees and protect the Green Belt.
‘Fracking’ or shale gas extraction has always been a controversial topic, yet the party’s manifesto says that they “will continue to support the safe development of shale gas.” While it still has significantly less carbon emission compared to coal and is a readily available source; huge amounts of water must be transported to the fracking site, which comes at an environmental cost. Potentially carcinogenic chemicals are used, which if escaped will contaminate groundwater around the site. Asides from Fracking, the Conservatives have also committed to support the development of the North Sea oil and gas industry.
Other smaller claims which have caused less disagreement include £500m to be dedicated to ensure almost every car and van is a zero emission vehicle by 2050. The party also plan to boost the number of journeys made by bicycle, to encourage this, over £200m is said to be spent on establishing safer bike routes.
As mentioned earlier, some of these policies fail to win the vote of environmental advocates, this may be because the bold claims put forward in the 2010 election have yet to be put into action. So, can we trust this government with our environment? 


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