Tories pledge £9.2 billion for energy efficiency

| 25th November 2019
The plans are part of efforts to meet the legal target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero overall by 2050 to tackle climate change.

Tories believe free markets, innovation and prosperity can protect the planet.

The Conservatives have pledged £9.2 billion to improve the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals, as they make a pitch to voters concerned about the environment.

Funding will include £6.3 billion to install energy saving measures to cut bills in 2.2 million homes, with a focus on social housing and people in fuel poverty, the Tories say.

The plans are part of efforts to meet the legal target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero overall by 2050 to tackle climate change.

Free markets

The target is a less ambitious goal than other parties have set out, with the Lib Dems promising net zero emissions by 2045 and Labour pledging to deliver the substantial majority of greenhouse cuts by 2030.

But the 2050 net zero target, which became law in the summer, is backed by the Government's advisory Committee on Climate Change as feasible - though the committee has warned the UK is off track to meet existing carbon-cutting goals in the 2020s and 2030s.

The manifesto seeks to highlight a different approach to tackling climate and environment crises from Labour, saying the Tories believe "free markets, innovation and prosperity can protect the planet".

Deal

It pledges to work with the market to deliver two million jobs in clean growth in a decade.

The Tories say their first budget will prioritise the environment, with funding for research and development, cutting carbon and an extra £4 billion for flood defences, as well as a national plug-in network for electric vehicle charging and a "gigafactory" for building the batteries those cars will need.

After bringing in a moratorium on fracking following tremors in Lancashire where the controversial process was taking place, the Tories also say they "will not support fracking unless the science shows categorically it can be done safely".

And there is support for a range of clean technologies, including for 40 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 - a significant increase on the 30 gigawatts set out with the industry in a sector deal earlier this year.

Fact-checker Full Fact has accused Boris Johnson of being economical with the truth after the unveiling of his election manifesto.

Trust

Chief executive Will Moy said the Conservative Party could "do more to meet the standards we expect" after investigating its pledges on paving the way for 50,000 new nurses and limiting day-to-day spending increases to only £3 billion, despite promising a litany of public services investment.

Full Fact said the Tories had not been upfront about the full cost of their initiatives in the 59-page document, titled Get Brexit done, unleash Britain's potential.

"While the Conservatives plan to increase annual current spending by £3 billion compared to what's already been announced, the Conservatives plan to spend a lot more than £3 billion extra per year than we spend today," said Full Fact.

"For example, the Conservative manifesto spending list omits its headline pledges on school funding, the NHS, and (creating 20,000 more) police officers."

Mr Moy said voters deserved information that was "accurate and honest" before making their minds up on December 12. "Candidates and parties are asking voters for their trust for the next five years, and like the other main parties, the Conservatives can do more to meet the standards we expect," said the Full Fact boss.

This Author

Emily Beament is the PA environment correspondent. Patrick Daly is the PA political correspondent. 

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