Conservatism and conservation are “pure allies”, Prime Minster Theresa Could has mentioned, praising her celebration’s “proud heritage” of defending the surroundings.
She pointed to the 1956 Clear Air Act to sort out smog in London and Margaret Thatcher’s early warnings in regards to the risks of worldwide warming.
However extra not too long ago, have the Tories been blowing cold and hot in regards to the inexperienced agenda?
David Cameron championed the surroundings as a key subject for his celebration 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” beneath the Tories, who have been to get a brand new brand within the type of a scribbled tree.
Mr Cameron memorably went to the Arctic to see first-hand the results of local weather change and to be pictured on a dog-driven sled.
“Hug a husky” – because the episode got here to be recognized – turned one of many defining pictures representing his makes an attempt to modernise and rebrand the Conservative Occasion to broaden its attraction.
The Conservatives went into the 2010 election promising to be the greenest authorities in historical past.
There have been pledges to cut back emissions, to advertise low carbon know-how, to preserve pure habitats and a proposal of a so-called Inexperienced Deal to enhance power effectivity in properties.
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 Avenue aides to “eliminate all of the inexperienced crap” – referring to environmental levies on power payments.
And he backed fracking, to the dismay of inexperienced campaigners.
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 surroundings ought to, as soon as once more, be one of many central themes of a Conservative authorities.
She’s promised that there shall be no watering down of EU surroundings laws after Brexit – and put ahead a collection of measures to attempt to rein in the usage of disposable plastics.
Mrs Could has one in all her “huge beasts”, Michael Gove, accountable for coverage.
After an surprising return to the cupboard final summer time – he is clearly benefiting from a possibility, launching a variety of high-profile initiatives with savvy social media campaigns, corresponding to a ban on ivory gross sales.
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 imprecise.
And Mrs Could’s former communications director Katy Perrior has mentioned the 25-year surroundings plan launched on Thursday was initially meant to be “as boring as attainable,” and whereas the prime minister’s enthusiasm for safeguarding the surroundings “is probably not insincere”, it’s “actually new”.
Cynics will accuse the federal government of sensing the surroundings might be a vote-winner and throwing its weight behind the inexperienced agenda.
However, talking on the launch, Theresa Could mentioned look after the pure world was on the core of her celebration’s philosophy.
“Making good on the promise that every new era ought to be capable to construct a greater future is a basic Conservative precept,” she mentioned.