Normally those working on environmental or “green issues” complain that it is high on the list of peoples’ priorities but low on those of politicians. When an election comes along issues like climate change sink without a trace.
Suddenly though, with local elections looming in Britain, politicians are tripping over themselves to be seen to be green. The Independent today has interviews with both Britain’s “Prime Ministers in Waiting”: Gordon Brown for Labour and David Cameron for the Conservatives.
Earlier this year, David Cameron – keen to capture the green vote –hired Zac Goldsmith, the editor of the Ecologist magazine, to lead his “green team”. Now he has gone to Norway to see for himself the effect of climate change on glaciers.
He told the Independent “Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing the world and we must have a much greater sense of urgency about tackling it”.
Not to be outdone, Gordon Brown in a speech in New York today has accused Cameron of promoting “spin over substance.” Brown will argue that it is only he who has the political weight to pull together a new global consensus on climate change. He will warn that “failure to act on the environment will put at risk future economic activity and growth” and claim that “far from being at odds with each other, our economic and environmental ambitions reinforce each other”.
But the interesting thing is that Brown has been Britain’s Chancellor for nearly ten years and how many speeches has he made dedicated to the environment??
Erhhh, just the one.
Well done Gordon, we know the world is safe in your hands. We like your sense of urgency.