Conservative manifesto devotes just 133 words to climate change

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Theresa My has unveiled plans to scrap benefits for wealthy pensioners (Rex)
Theresa May has unveiled the Tory manifesto in Halifax (Rex)

Theresa May has been accused of underplaying the threat posed by climate change in the Tory manifesto.

The document, published today, says the Conservative Party will introduce legislation to support shale energy development and impose a household energy tariff cap if it is re-elected in June.

And Mrs May has been accused of putting fracking profits ahead of tackling the threat of global warming.

The manifesto devotes just 133 words to climate change

And 306 words to fracking and how the UK can best profit from it

If re-elected, the Conservatives will continue to develop the shale energy industry in Britain and change planning laws for shale applications, the document states.

The shale gas industry is still in its infancy in Britain due to regulatory hurdles and public protests. Environmental groups are concerned fracking could contaminate groundwater and say it is incompatible with fighting climate change.

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A planned shale wealth fund would be changed so a greater percentage of tax revenues from shale gas benefited communities around the extraction sites, the manifesto said.

‘Where communities decide that it is right for them, we will allow payments to be made directly to local people themselves. A significant share of the remaining tax revenues will be invested for the benefit of the country at large,’ it reads.

A new shale environment regulator would be set up to deal with functions now handled by the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and the Department for Business and Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Fracking has proved to be a particularly contentious issue (Picture: REX Features)
Fracking has proved to be a particularly contentious issue (Picture: REX Features)

This is a marked contrast to Labour’s manifesto, which directly opposed fracking because ‘it would lock us into an energy infrastructure based on fossil fuels, long after the point in 2030 when the Committee on Climate Change says gas in the UK must sharply decline’.

The Liberal Democrats have also stated their opposition to fracking, claiming that it will have an ‘adverse impact on climate change, the energy mix, and the local environment.’

The Conservative government pledged last month to cap standard variable tariffs, responding to voter discontent about energy bills which have doubled in the past decade.

‘We will introduce a safeguard tariff cap that will extend the price protection currently in place for some vulnerable customers to more customers on the poorest value tariffs,’ the document said.

Energy firms say higher prices reflect increased wholesale costs and environmental levies. Utilities such as Scottish Power and SSE have said a price cap could harm competition and should only be set for a limited period.

The Conservatives would commission an independent review into the cost of energy that would make recommendations to keep costs low while ensuring reliable supplies, according to the manifesto.

As they unveiled their party pledges in Halifax earlier today the Tories were met with faced protests – and heavy criticism directed at their new policy on meals for school children.

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