Climate change presents a significant long-term risk to the UK and international environment and economy. However, some on the political right are suspicious of taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some are hostile to the climate science. Others worry that action to protect the environment is just a cover for more radical, anti-capitalist political aims. Another strand challenges the economics behind some of the policy measures being taken, and fear they threaten economic growth unnecessarily and may even undermine green aims.
This debate will consider whether there is a genuine problem with climate action on the right of politics and how those who care about the environment might be better able to persuade doubters of the need for policy intervention.
In particular, it will consider:
- To what extent are some parts of the right suspicious about climate change?
- How does climate change differ from other environmental problems which may be a more comfortable fit with a right of centre philosophy?
- How do politicians balance the weight of scientific evidence and political philosophy in deciding positions? Can a localist, market-centred philosophy fit with an acceptance of the need for action on a global problem like climate change?
- How can those who care about environmental issues better communicate their concerns? What language should they use?
- Is appealing to other concerns like energy security or green growth the best way to build support for climate action or to alienate it?
CHAIR | Guy Newey | Senior Research Fellow, Environment & Energy | Policy Exchange
Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP | Former Secretary of State at The Department of Trade and Industry
Tim Yeo MP | Chair | Energy and Climate Change Select Committee
Damian Carrington | Environment Editor | The Guardian
Dr Adam Corner | School of Psychology, Cardiff University & Climate Outreach Information Network