Question: Name the political parties that have adopted the following as their official platform (quoted liberally from Jonathan Hiskes in Grist):
- The establishment of a high-speed rail network.
- The cancellation of an additional runway at a major airport.
- The establishment of a smart electric grid.
- The full establishment of feed-in tariffs for renewable electricity.
- The creation of a green investment bank.
- The provision of home energy improvement paid for by the savings from lower energy bills.
- Measures to encourage marine energy [wave and tidal power].
- The establishment of an emissions performance standard that will prevent most coal-fired power stations being built.
- The provision of a floor price for carbon.
- Measures to promote green spaces and wildlife corridors.
- Mandating a national recharging network for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
- Investment in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology for four coal-fired power stations; and a specific commitment to reduce central government carbon emissions by 10 percent within 12 months.
Answer: Britain’s new governing coalition of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
If the new government follows through on these measures, we can safely add Britain to the list of countries moving toward a new energy future that cuts global warming pollution and rebuilds the economy on a sustainable foundation. And it comes in the wake of an election that shifted power to the right.
As the U.S. Congress struggles to take up a deeply compromised energy and climate bill, it’s easy to pine for a political system in which both of our major parties recognize the science of global warming and the urgency of getting off of fossil fuels, and are free to disagree about the means of addressing these problems, rather than the necessity to address them at all.
Associate Director and Senior Policy Analyst, Frontier Group
Tony Dutzik is associate director and senior policy analyst with Frontier Group. His research and ideas on climate, energy and transportation policy have helped shape public policy debates across the U.S., and have earned coverage in media outlets from the New York Times to National Public Radio. A former journalist, Tony lives and works in Boston.