David Bailey, Professor – Aston Business School
Amidst an otherwise pretty dismal set of results, the Tories just about held on in the recent Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election, after running a campaign opposing the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ).
And despite ULEZ actually being about improving air quality rather than reducing CO2 emissions, key Tory figures quickly started aping David Cameron’s alleged old adage to ‘ditch the green crap’. Or, as Lord Frost put it on X (the social media platform formerly known as Twitter), ‘green policies are very unpopular when there’s a direct cost to people.’
That is highly debatable of course, but nevertheless the incumbent Tory government senses some electoral mileage in rowing back on green policies - never mind whether those policies are needed to reach Net Zero by 2050, which is itself a government policy objective.
Under pressure from Tory MPs, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak took the chance to put 2...