Cabinet ministers have agreed a far-reaching, legally binding “green deal” that will commit the UK to two decades of drastic cuts in carbon emissions. The package will require sweeping changes to domestic life, transport and business and will place Britain at the forefront of the global battle against climate change.
The deal was hammered out after tense arguments between ministers who had disagreed over whether the ambitious plans to switch to more green energy were affordable. The row had pitted the energy secretary,Chris Huhne, who strongly backed the plans, against the chancellor, George Osborne, and the business secretary, Vince Cable, who were concerned about the cost and potential impact on the economy.
However, after the intervention of David Cameron, Huhne is now expected to tell parliament that agreement has been struck to back the plans in full up to 2027. He will tell MPs that the government will accept the recommendations of the independent committee on climate change for a new carbon budget. The deal puts the UK ahead of any other state in terms of the legal commitments it is making in the battle to curb greenhouse gases.
Sometimes liberals in the United States lament the Tories in the UK and the Conservatives in Canada. And while I would have been a LibDem until last year had I lived in the UK, and a Liberal/NDP swing voter in Canada, I think comparing those parties to the American Republican party is ridiculous. Our homemade American psychos are so far to the right of anything that any other major country has as a major party. If liberals want to score rhetorical points while showing off their savvy of international politics, they would do better to point that out than lament some pan-Anglo-American conservative movement.
The rump of the modern-day American Democratic Party is roughly the equivalent of the Tories, even if their international affinity is for Republicans. If you were an average English Tory, your policy preferences would be those of a Bill Clinton/Barack Obama Democrat. Only the right-fringe of the Toy party would even consider voting for someone in England that had the same policy platform as even the most liberal Republican senator.
For starters, even though there has been an austerity program in the UK, there was opposition to it that wasn’t merely suggesting smaller cuts, but opposition suggesting none.