Swing voters want Tories to invest in green technology to save planet and boost economy

 

A A A

George Osborne's decision to put the economy before "green energy" is opposed by the public, including the voters the Conservatives need to woo in order to win an overall majority in 2015.

A YouGov survey found a majority of people, including possible Tory voters, believe the Government can save both the planet and the economy by investing in green technology. Voters also reject the Chancellor's strategy that the UK should not go further than other countries in creating a low carbon economy.

In his autumn statement today Mr Osborne will confirm that the Government will approve up to 30 new gas-fired power stations in a "dash for gas" that green campaigners fear will undermine investment in renewable energy such as wind farms.

According to YouGov, the Chancellor's judgement may harm Conservative prospects at the next election. Only 29 per cent of the public, and 32 per cent of people who might vote Tory in 2015, believe that "protecting the environment is fine in the good times, but we can't afford it while the economy is struggling". Some 54 per cent of the public, and 53 per cent of possible Tory voters, agree that "we can save the planet and the economy both at the same time by investing in green technologies".

More than half the public (57 per cent) and possible Tory voters (53 per cent) believe the UK should commit to most of its electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030 – a move blocked by the Chancellor – with only 10 per cent in both groups opposing the idea.

Mr Osborne has declared that he will not impose burdens on business so Britain can go further and faster in cutting carbon emissions than its European counterparts. But that is not the preferred approach of the public. Some 47 per cent of people, and 46 per cent of possible Tory voters, believe Britain should lead the world in creating a low carbon economy. Some 39 per cent of people, and 35 per cent of possible Tory voters, think Britain should do no more than other countries.

Andrew Harrop, general secretary of the Labour-affiliated Fabian Society which commissioned the poll jointly with the WWF pressure group, said: "The Coalition began its administration with a pledge to be 'the greenest government ever', but in recent months this has dropped off the radar. Labour has, to date, been quiet about how it would tackle environmental issues in government."

Keith Allott, head of climate change at WWF-UK, said:" The next election will be a fight for swing voters who want Britain to lead the world in creating a low carbon economy. Any party that wants to form the next government should remember this."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Appointment Maker / Telesales

£15000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading supplie...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Field Sales Executive - Dereham

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is proud to b...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Field Sales Executive - OTE £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is proud to b...

Recruitment Genius: Audit Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Graduate Opportunities are available at a lead...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project