Green conservatism

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Green conservatism is a subset of conservatives who have incorporated green concerns into their ideology.[1] Variants of green conservatism are most common where a pre-existing conservative movement are strongest, especially in the nations of the Anglosphere.



In Canada, the term was popularized in 2006 by Preston Manning, former federal opposition leader and founder of the Reform Party of Canada.[2] Specifically Manning has argued that Western Canadian Conservatism with its strong rural roots and populist rhetoric will eventually have to reconcile the need for economic growth with protection of the environment. He has specifically talked about using water pricing in the Athabasca Oil Sands to prevent a "tragedy of the commons" scenario.

United Kingdom[edit]

The Conservative Party in the United Kingdom under David Cameron has embraced a green agenda which includes proposals designed to impose a tax on workplace car parking spaces, a halt to airport growth, a tax on gas-guzzling 4x4s and restrictions on car advertising. The measures were suggested by The Quality of Life Policy Group, which was set up by Cameron to help fight climate change.[3]

Cameron has enthusiastically spoken of embracing "green" issues, and has made climate change a key component of his speeches.[4] He has called for an independent climate change commission to ensure that emissions reductions targets are met.[5] However, Cameron's claim of leading the "greenest government ever" [6] has been repudiated by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, who argues that Cameron "has shown little interest in green policy and the sustainability agenda." [7]

United States[edit]

One of the first uses of the term green conservatism was by former United States Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, in a debate on environmental issues with John Kerry.[8][9] Around this time, the green conservative movement was sometimes referred to as the crunchy con movement, a term popularized by National Review magazine and the writings of Rod Dreher.[10]

In the United States, the Republican Party is generally considered the conservative party. Conservation has long been an important part of Republican political ideology, beginning significantly during the presidency of Teddy Roosevelt.

Green conservatism manifested itself as a movement in groups such as Republicans for Environmental Protection, which seeks to strengthen the Republican Party's stance on environmental issues and support efforts to conserve natural resources and protect human and environmental health.

The Independent Greens of Virginia (or Indy Greens) call themselves "common sense conservatives". The party, over the last decade, has run many conservative greens for local, state, and federal office. In 2004, the party gave its ballot line to Constitution Party nominee Michael Peroutka for president, and in 2008, once again placed the Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin on the ballot as its presidential candidate. The Indy Greens call for balancing the federal budget and paying off the federal debt.[11]


In Japan, the Environmental Green Political Assembly, or Midori no Kaigi, emerged from the conservative reformist Sakigake Party. It combined a conservative ideology with an ecologist platform, forcing out a number of non-ecologist members to join the Democratic Party's Ryoun-kai faction. It showed poor performance at the polls, and was dissolved in 2004.


In Germany, the Ecological Democratic Party was formed by more right-wing defectors from Die Grünen in 1982. It combined a focus on environmental protection with a promotion of the right to life (opposition to abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment); it differs from The Greens by being less supportive of immigration and restrictions on state powers in criminal justice issues, not focusing on gay and lesbian rights, and having a differing view of feminism.

While having never gained seats in federal or state legislatures in Germany, it made a name for itself by its involvement in the opposition to a Czech nuclear reactor in Temelin, across the border from Bavaria. It led an initiative for a popular referendum to abolish the Bavarian Senate (that state's upper house) which was successful. It is still active in the present day.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beyond the New Right John Gray, Routledge, 1995 ISBN 978-0-415-10706-8, ISBN 978-0-415-10706-8]
  2. ^ Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
  3. ^ Pierce, Andrew (September 14, 2007) 'David Cameron pledges radical green shake-up' Daily Telegraph.
  4. ^;jsessionid=PHYKHXUF15AT1QFIQMFSFF4AVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2005/12/10/ntory10.xml Daily Telegraph online, Cameron pledges tough measures on climate change. October 12, 2005.
  5. ^ BBC Online Cameron urges climate change law Oct. 25, 2006.
  6. ^ Randerson, James (May 14, 2010) 'Cameron: I want coalition to be the 'greenest government everThe Guardian
  7. ^ Lucas, Caroline (May 17, 2011) Carbon budget: Could this be the greenest government ever? The Guardian
  8. ^ We Can Have Green Conservatism - And We Should - HUMAN EVENTS. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  9. ^ The Case for Green Conservatism - Redstate. Retrieved February 20, 2010. Broken link. Internet Archive
  10. ^ Dreher, Rod (2006). Crunchy Cons: The New Conservative Counterculture and Its Return to Roots. Random House. ISBN 1-4000-5065-0. 
  11. ^ http://www.VoteJoinRun.US

External links[edit]