Though it was never going to make the earth move, Ed Davey’s speech to the Liberal Democrat conference highlighted the party’s push for differentiation on the green agenda. The Energy and Climate Change Secretary was clear that installing Owen Paterson, as the new Environment Secretary, would not stop the Lib Dems fighting for a green future and a green economy.
‘Our Coalition agreement to clear up Britain’s mess, wasn’t an agreement to turn the clock back. For business as usual. To rekindle Thatcherism – or Blair-Brown. It was for a fairer, greener Britain – and we must fight for that. Earlier today, I moved the motion to pledge this party’s backing for a global deal to stop climate change.’
As well as informing the delegates that he for one is ‘not for turning’, Davey was keen to stress he is not pushing the green agenda for its own sake. Instead, the Energy Secretary argued that green growth is ‘the fastest around’ and should be ‘at the heart of rebalancing the British economy’.
The standing ovation – albeit rather tepid – that he received after his speech showed he had hit the spot for the Lib Dems, but that is the easiest part of the Energy Secretary’s battle: he will need to use even tougher language to convince George Osborne.Tags: Ed Davey, Energy, Lib Dem Conferennce 2012, Owen Paterson, UK politics