Tories ignore party line and reject climate change campaign

November 25, 2009 9:29 AM
Kilian Bourke

Kilian Bourke

Cambridgeshire's Tory controlled county council has ignored the party line and refused to back a national initiative aimed at tackling climate change.

They claim the 10:10 Campaign, which pledges to cut carbon emissions by 10 per cent in 2010, is "unrealistic".

The decision not to support the initiative comes on the same day that the Shadow Conservative Cabinet has announced its support if it forms the next government.

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats had called on the county council Cabinet to back the campaign after their party agreed to do so at its national conference in September. The Lib-Dem run Cambridge City Council also followed suit.

Lib Dem County Councillor Kilian Bourke said: "This is deeply frustrating. We submitted a motion on 10:10 because it is an exceptional project. Unlike other carbon emissions schemes, it grasps the fundamental urgency of the situation, and is accordingly ambitious.

"Above all, 10:10 presents an opportunity for local authorities to show real community leadership. The scheme has the potential to be a catalyst in changing behaviours, and the county council is in an exceptional position to promote it through its clients, suppliers and public. It comes into contact with almost every kind of activity that goes on in Cambridgeshire."

Cllr Bourke claims that, when asked about the council's plans to encourage contractors to reduce emissions, Tory County Councillor Tony Orgee, could not name even one.

"He said the 10 per cent target was not realistic for authorities who had already been working hard to reduce emissions," added Cllr Bourke.

"But the county council has only just established its emissions' baseline, against which cuts can be measured. Most authorities put this in place years ago.

"It is clear the level of seriousness the Tories place on the threat of climate change. They have paid lip-service to the importance of the project while refusing to take part in it. What kind of message does this send to the public?"

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