Yesterday members of the society took part in a debate hosted by Masaryk Society where representatives from UCL Conservatives, UCL Labour and UCL Lib Dems presented their case for what they think British foreign policy towards Russia should be.
Something that was frequently mentioned was dependence on Russian gas and oil. Oliver Cooper (Communication Officer) and Ed Johnson (Publicity Officer) presented the well thought out and rational Conservative view of mutual economic dependence, something that is currently tipped in Russia’s favour. Unlike some of the more obscure ideas, such as a return to communism from the UCL Labour Society or fascist approach from the UCL Liberal Democrats, the Tory suggestion made sense. If the ‘west’ fully opens up its markets and integrates with Russia then our economies will align and Russia would be just as dependant on us purchasing their fossil fuels as we are on them for selling it in the first place. Nonetheless, this draws in stark contrast to the revelation from Greg Clark MP yesterday when he attacked Labour for allowing the UK’s fossil fuel dependency to move in the “wrong direction” after new figures revealed our dependency has increased since 1997.
“The rise is equivalent to burning an additional 7.5 million tonnes of oil a year – and our dependency now stands at 91%.”
Greg, the Shadow Energy and Climate Secretary, said reducing the UK’s use of fossil fuels is “essential for ensuring our energy security and preventing catastrophic climate changes”.
And he stressed, “The reason this Government is failing is characteristic of Labour: it talks tough, signs up to targets, but has no plans to deliver on its promises.”
Whilst I agree with the Conservative representatives at the Masaryk debate, we must shift away from the fossil fuel ideology. Conservatives traditionally look for long term policies, and fossil fuels just don’t cut it. We should encourage the growth of the renewable industry and accept the necessary changes in energy production. Sooner or later we will run out of fossil fuels – why bother continuing to use limited financial resources on coal/gas/oil power plants when we can develop alternative means.
After all, Vote Blue – Go Green…