As the UK’s general election campaign draws to its bad tempered close (for the moment?) the big surprise is how little climate change and energy policy has featured as an issue. After all the UK government (whoever that will be) is going to have to attend the major conference on climate change in Paris this winter and hopefully sign a treaty. Most parties involved in the election campaign have barely mentioned climate change (even the greens). The Observer newspaper poll on climate change last weekend found climate change way down most voters priorities. Even amongst green voters only 21% thought it the most important issue and I have heard green supporters complain about its apparent exclusion. Climate change as an issue apparently did not feature in the leaders TV debates either.
This is not a party political piece on who has the best policy. Some parties are complete climate sceptics (UKIP), the Tories barely mentioned renewable energy at all, but talked about nuclear power and fracking. Labour put energy policy in the shape of a price freeze centre stage (something I have reservations about) and the Scots Nats have put a moratorium on fracking for the moment but don’t totally rule it out (by definition). The Lib Dems are very positive about renewables, but support failed nuclear power.
The reasons why this did not get covered in the election campaign is very simple. The electorate do not consider it an important issue and everyone is in denial about peak oil and climate change.
image above from wikimedia commons.