A Green Industrial Revolution

Yesterday the Conservatives laid out an ambitious new programme for our country post-Brexit in the 3rd day of the Queen’s Speech debate in Parliament: A green industrial revolution. Energy efficiency, emissions and the environment are a high priority for so many of us across the Windsor constituency.

The sentiment which the green industrial revolution evokes is in my view highly appropriate. Like the industrial revolution 200 years ago which fundamentally and irreversibly changed our society and economy in Britain forever, the same revolutionary gusto must continue to be applied to protecting and improving our environment.

This Green industrial revolution will not, and should not, be some sudden and destructive event. Instead it will a process that has already begun. It will continue to deliver monumental change incrementally, over the coming years and decades. The left however would have us enact hasty and poorly thought through reforms to our economy, which would be unworkable and hit the poorest hardest through spikes in unemployment, higher taxes, and decreasing living standards. Clearly, that course of action is simply unacceptable.

Whilst part of our future climate policy will ultimately be led by the Government, much, if not most, of it will be led by you. Yet there is a key road bloc which is preventing this, Cost.

I’ll bet you that if electric cars were cheaper and more affordable than their petrol and diesel counterparts then virtually everyone would be buying and driving them. The same applies to installing solar panels on our homes, or refitting them with an electric boiler and ensuring proper insulation.

Making greener alternatives more affordable should be our prime focus. Yet going around banning and taxing products and habits which harm our environment, without offering any affordable and viable alternatives, is counterproductive. No one will thank us for saving the environment if they’re lives are more expensive, arduous, and miserable.

As Conservatives we must approach the climate crisis by providing affordable and practical solutions. People want to live greener and more sustainable lives, they simply need to have the affordable and realistic means to do so. From electric vehicles, to central heating, and even plastic packaging; cost is the largest barrier to people adopting greener habits.

As Conservatives we should never seek to burden you with more costs and taxes, and instead allow you to keep more of your money and choose how you want to spend it yourself. Our task then, in the green industrial revolution, is to make green and sustainable alternatives more attractive than their environmentally harmful counterparts.

Adam Afriyie
Member of Parliament for Windsor