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Conservative leadership election: Four candidates sign CEN pledge

Four Conservative leadership contenders have today signed the Conservative Environment Network’s (CEN) pledge to continue the Conservative Party’s leadership on the environment.

Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, and Tom Tugendhat signed the five-point pledge following CEN’s call. The pledge specifically commits candidates to delivering the government’s key environmental targets, including net zero by 2050 and halting species decline by 2030.

It also commits candidates publicly for the first time to continuing major government environmental initiatives, including reforms to legacy EU farm subsidies, the rollout of cheap renewable energy, and support for new clean technologies.

The pledge declares that “care for the environment is core to conservatism” and commits to “continuing the Conservative Party’s leadership on the environment” and to “addressing the defining environmental challenges of our generation”.

Sam Hall, Director of the Conservative Environment Network, commented: “We call on all the candidates to affirm their commitment to tackling climate change and safeguarding our natural environment. Ambitious action on the environment is essential in order to win the next general election, to cut the cost of living, to drive growth in our industrial heartlands and across the UK, and to protect our national security and prosperity from the serious environmental challenges we face.

“The pledge is not intended to be a comprehensive list of environmental policies that are required - rather it provides a baseline commitment to maintain recent progress. We hope that all candidates in due course set out their plans for delivering and building on these important commitments, in a way that benefits our food and energy security, helps people with the cost of living, and supports jobs across the country.”

Care for the environment is core to conservatism. Tackling environmental problems is not in conflict with economic goals, but furthers them - through boosting efficiency, jobs, and private investment. By leading internationally on the environment, we will also enhance our global standing, further key foreign policy goals, and strengthen our national security.
1. Using our Brexit freedoms to support sustainable farming and the environment
We need to reform wasteful EU-style land subsidies in order to reward farmers for farming and managing our countryside more sustainably and tackle the long-term environmental threats to food security.
2. Strengthening our energy security by unleashing clean British energy
By boosting homegrown renewables - the cheapest source of energy - we will reduce our reliance on expensive gas imports, lower consumer bills, and create high-skilled jobs.
3. Cutting the cost of living by rolling out home insulation and electric vehicle charge points across the UK
Helping people to insulate their homes and rolling out the EV charging network is vital for shielding households from volatile oil and gas prices, cleaning up the air, and starving Putin of funding for his war in Ukraine.
4. Restoring nature by implementing the Environment Act
Cleaning up our rivers by slashing sewage pollution, tackling plastic waste, and enhancing biodiversity in all new developments are crucial if we are to hand on a better planet to future generations.
5. Turbocharging clean growth through backing the technologies of the future
To increase energy and food security and create jobs across the country, the government should help UK businesses gain a first mover advantage in new global industries such as carbon capture, hydrogen and agri-tech.


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