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News from the Party Conference
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Dear <<First Name>>,

I trust that those of you who travelled to Birmingham for the party conference are back and rested (and those who didn't are celebrating untrammelled health). Thanks to all who came to our reception, and again to SEA LIFE and Great British Oceans for the support. You can get a taste of the event here.

The PM told conference that "now is the time to forge a bold, new, confident role for ourselves on the world stage. Keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world; Providing humanitarian support for refugees in need; Taking the lead on cracking down on modern slavery wherever it is found; Ratifying the Paris Agreement on Climate Change." If you want it in Tweet format, Tim Montgomerie was on the case.

Lots of other good news this month: 4 million square kilometres of ocean to be protected by a UK & OT 'Blue Belt'; Greg Clark planning for a clean economy that moves away from waste, HMT promoting Green Finance, and Canadian cousins launching 'Environment and Economy Review' with contributions from conservative leaders and commentators. 

Read on!

Sam

Our friends at Canadians for Clean Prosperity have published their inaugural Environment and Economy Review, a magazine focused on fostering ideas about pragmatic, economically friendly approaches to tackling today's environmental challenges:
  • Monte Solberg (former Conservative MP for the Canadian riding of Medicine Hat) points out that 'under Stephen Harper Canada’s National Parks system increased in size by 50%' 
  • David Frum (coiner of 'Axis of Evil' and Policy Exchange Trustee) notes that "the earth continues to warm, and to warm fast, with serious consequences for human life and welfare." For him a carbon tax is a 'tax we could learn to love.' 
  • Preston Manning (former leader of the Canadian Reform Party) asks "should not the signature contribution of conservatives to environmental issues be the harnessing of market mechanisms to facilitate environmental conservation?'
Greg Clark told the Conservative Party conference "Our global leadership in combating climate change now presents us with a massive opportunity to enjoy industrial success as we put clean energy at the heart of our industrial future." Read the full speech here. Covered by Business GreenRenews.  

Clark also signalled his commitment to economic transition in an early reception with journalists. Edie report his belief in a:  “national opportunity” for Britain to move away from a ‘take-make-use-dispose’ industrial culture to one based on upgradable products and services.

And in case you missed it:
VICTORY - THE (BLUE) BLUE BELT
 
CEN has been one of those campaigning for the government to fulfil its 2015 'Blue Belt' manifesto pledge. The Conservative Party committed to "creating a Blue Belt around the UK’s 14 Overseas Territories, subject to local support and environmental need." 

The UK has one of the largest marine estates in the world. For example: the islands of the OTs include more penguins than any other nation on earth, holding an estimated 36% of the world’s population of southern rockhopper penguins and 34% of gentoo penguins (Hansard).

At September's Our Ocean conference, Rt Hon. Sir Alan Duncan announced plans to double the area of ocean under marine protection around the UK Overseas Territories to around 4 million square kilometres – greater than the landmass of India. This included:
  • designating a sustainable use marine protected area throughout whole of St. Helena’s 445,000 square kilometre maritime zone,
  • the final establishment of the marine protected area around the Pitcairn Islands, which permanently closes more than 99 percent of the 840,000 square kilometre maritime zone around the Islands – 10,000 square kilometres more than originally pledged at Our Ocean 2014
  • A roadmap to determine the exact location of an evidence-based fully protected marine protected area around Ascension Island covering at least 220,000 square kilometres by 2019 and a commitment to establish a regime for protecting the waters across the entire 750,000 square kilometre Exclusive Economic Zone in Tristan da Cunha by 2020.
We look forward to seeing the government work with other OTs to expand this commitment in the coming years. For more info, see the full announcement and Alan Duncan's speech.
Brexit
The Prime Minister announced at the Conservative Party Conference that she will trigger Article 50 by the end of March, she also committed to using a Great Repeal Bill to translate existing EU law into British law. 

This is in keeping with calls from over 30 Conservative MPs, who wrote to the PM asking for a commitment to continued and thorough application of the EU’s Birds, Habitats and Bathing Water directives until equivalent UK legislation is enacted.  in a letter.

It also follows recommendations to expedite Brexit in this way: Peter Lilley recently told ConHome that we should 'convert all EU legislation and regulations into UK law'.
In other news
  • Simon Kirkby MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury told the City of London corporation that green finance was a “top priority” for the new government. UNEP has noted that the UK's leadership is clear in this area.

    If the world is to make a meaningful difference in dealing with global climate change we need to press on with this,” Kirby told Bloomberg, adding the new government “will go further and faster to step up our efforts to halt climate change in its tracks.”

    This builds on a speech from his predecessor, Harriet Baldwin. Mark Carney also spoke out this month on the financial stability risks from climate change (speech here)
     
  • Rt Hon. Owen Patterson MP used an article in the Telegraph to call for a ban on the ivory trade.
     
  • CEN board member Ben Caldecott was interviewed on BBC Business Live (from 1:45) talking about climate change, business, and the Paris Agreement.

Being environmentally conscious is not about accepting second best but allowing us to do more with less.

James Dyson

I do not accept that we have to choose between our future prosperity and safeguarding the future of our planet. This is not a zero sum game. As conservatives, we choose both.

Philip Hammond

Copyright © 2016 Conservative Environment Network, All rights reserved.


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