This week, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were pictured holding EV chargers, awkwardly pretending they were guns. During the visit to the Octopus Energy headquarters, the pair, who have guided the UK throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, seemed to cast rather comedic figures. While this can be seen in jest, it does bring the Conservative green credentials into focus once again. A party known for historically falling short on environmental policies, are they doing enough in 2020 and are they taking this seriously?
Many have held Boris Johnson up as a beacon of hope for the UK’s green potential. After all, he is the son of an environmentalist and brother of a sustainability expert. While at university, he often introduced himself as a ‘Green Tory’. While Rishi Sunak does not have the same inherent environmental legacy, he does have a corporate background which should mean that he understands the importance of our environmental impact.
Independently, both men should have great intentions, but they lead a party with a catastrophic history when it comes to the environment. During the most recent election, Greenpeace ranked the Conservatives fifth out of six parties based on environmental commitments in their manifesto, above only the Brexit party. The big concern among campaigners was that, after Brexit, a government led by Mr Johnson would fail to uphold environmental standards and protections currently enshrined in EU law.
There are also worries that many of these commitments were made pre-Covid. As this period of uncertainty continues, environmental commitments are likely to fall by the wayside with the economy, education and healthcare taking the focus.
That said, as we have discussed before on this blog, Covid offered a great opportunity to kickstart a greener future. With emissions down, nature thriving and air purity at record levels, we could have taken this chance to introduce revolutionary green policies. Increased spending on renewable energy could have created many jobs. A green scrappage scheme could have reduced the number of inefficient vehicles on our roads. Instead, emissions have returned to pre-Covid levels, investment in green energy has continued as normal and no such green scrappage scheme has materialised.
While it may seem like we are no further forward now than we were at the point of the last election, we must take a moment to appreciate the progress which has been made by the government, corporations and individuals. We have repeatedly celebrated the achievements in our industry on this blog and these are testament to the ongoing efforts by every stakeholder. This is no mean feat given the current situation, but we do implore you to keep going. Convert to electric, reduce plastic usage, be mindful of your actions. A global pandemic does mean climate change should be put on the back burner.
If you are interested in knowing more about what you or your company can do to help affect change, please get in touch. A member of our technical team would be happy to discuss this and help put a plan together for an electric future. Call us on 0141 280 8890 or drop us an email at email@example.com.
Additionally, visit our website evchargepoints.com to see our range of products and services, and to read historical blog posts.