I’ve been in the world of sustainability for a very long time, so I'm used to the ups and downs that go with that. But even I'm struggling to find the upside of a majority Tory Government over the next five years.


By No Stretch of the Imagination


Back in May 2010, within a few days of becoming Prime Minister, David Cameron promised that his Coalition Government would be the 'greenest government ever'. And because he'd done such a good job 'sanitising' the Tory brand by going somewhat greenish over the previous 18 months, and because those nice Lib Dems would be there to keep him to his word, quite a lot of people believed him. 

Given that one of the first things Cameron did was to axe the Sustainable Development Commission (of which I'd been the Chair for nine years), I was distinctly sceptical. To say the least.

One year later, Friends of the Earth asked me to review progress on that 'greenest government ever' pledge. Even then, it was clear that things were already going very badly. 

Fast forward to May 2015, and I felt duty bound to revisit that pledge, looking back over the whole five years. My conclusion is a simple one: "By no stretch of the imagination is it possible to substantiate the claim that the Coalition Government was 'the greenest government ever'. In all the most relevant policy areas (natural environment, energy, climate change, air pollution, infrastructure and resource efficiency), what we see is a consistent picture of under-performance and ideologically-driven backsliding." 

I've stuck to the basics in the Report, so it's not a full 'sustainable development' report. But do tell me what you think. 

Jonathon Porritt