Theresa May launching the government's 25-year environment effort

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Conservatism and conservation are “pure allies”, Prime Minster Theresa Could has mentioned, praising her get together’s “proud heritage” of defending the atmosphere.

She pointed to the 1956 Clear Air Act to deal with smog in London and Margaret Thatcher’s early warnings in regards to the risks of worldwide warming.

However extra just lately, have the Tories been blowing cold and warm in regards to the inexperienced agenda?

David Cameron championed the atmosphere as a key situation for his get together when he took over as chief in 2005.

“Vote Blue, go Inexperienced” he urged voters the next 12 months in native elections, promising a “inexperienced revolution” below the Tories, who have been to get a brand new emblem within the type of a scribbled tree.

Mr Cameron memorably went to the Arctic to see first-hand the consequences of local weather change and to be pictured on a dog-driven sled.

“Hug a husky” – because the episode got here to be recognized – grew to become one of many defining pictures representing his makes an attempt to modernise and rebrand the Conservative Celebration to broaden its attraction.

The Conservatives went into the 2010 election promising to be the greenest authorities in historical past.

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David Cameron drove a dog-sled on the island of Svalbard, Norway, in 2006

There have been pledges to scale back emissions, to advertise low carbon expertise, to preserve pure habitats and a proposal of a so-called Inexperienced Deal to enhance power effectivity in houses.

However as soon as in energy, in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, critics say, David Cameron’s enthusiasm for the inexperienced agenda started to wane, and a few questioned his real dedication to the trigger.

The federal government was preoccupied with decreasing the deficit and placing the brakes on public spending, and the Lib Dems took cost of the flagship announcement of the introduction of a 5p tax on plastic luggage.

There was additionally a deliberate sell-off of state-owned woodland in England.

In 2013, it was reported that David Cameron had instructed Downing Road aides to “do away with all of the inexperienced crap” – referring to environmental levies on power payments.

And he backed fracking, to the dismay of inexperienced campaigners.

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David Cameron determined to again fracking

After the 2015 election yielded a Conservative majority, the Inexperienced Deal for dwelling insulation was scrapped and subsidies for on-shore wind farms got here to an finish a 12 months sooner than initially deliberate.

Now, Theresa Could has determined that championing the atmosphere ought to, as soon as once more, be one of many central themes of a Conservative authorities.

She’s promised that there can be no watering down of EU atmosphere rules after Brexit – and put ahead a sequence of measures to attempt to rein in the usage of disposable plastics.

Mrs Could has certainly one of her “large beasts”, Michael Gove, in control of coverage.

After an surprising return to the cupboard final summer time – he is clearly profiting from a possibility, launching a lot of high-profile initiatives with savvy social media campaigns, corresponding to a ban on ivory gross sales.

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Science Photograph Library

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Mrs Could says the federal government will clamp down on the usage of disposable plastic packaging

The prime minister hopes the technique will assist her win over younger voters who abandoned the Conservatives on the election.

However Inexperienced activists have already criticised her plans as being too obscure.

And Mrs Could’s former communications director Katy Perrior has mentioned the 25-year atmosphere plan launched on Thursday was initially meant to be “as boring as attainable,” and whereas the prime minister’s enthusiasm for shielding the atmosphere “will not be insincere”, it’s “definitely new”.

Cynics will accuse the federal government of sensing the atmosphere could possibly be a vote-winner and throwing its weight behind the inexperienced agenda.

However, talking on the launch, Theresa Could mentioned take care of the pure world was on the core of her get together’s philosophy.

“Making good on the promise that every new technology ought to be capable to construct a greater future is a basic Conservative precept,” she mentioned.