Conservative thinkers and MPs claim resource efficiency is vital for UK economy


A pamphlet from Green Alliance puts the view of leading Conservatives that for Britain to be more competitive, it must be resource efficient.

The Green Conservatism advisory group behind the pamphlet is concerned that Britain is now more exposed than some economies to fluctuations in global resource prices. Between 2003 and 2013, world fuel prices rose fourfold, metal prices trebled and food prices roughly doubled – and this had an impact on the UK economy and cost of living.


Members of the advisory group include former Conservative Party leader Lord Howard of Lympne, Laura Sandys MP, Zac Goldsmith MP, Dan Byles MP and other thinkers.

In the pamphlet, they propose:

  • The creation of a new Commission on Resource Responsibility to actively monitor resource risks, identify where the UK is vulnerable and outline the options available to address those risks
  • Improve regulation, such as the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive to ensure reuse is promoted over recycling
  • Ensure incentives for remanufacturing are created through public procurement
  • Take new steps to support entrepreneurs with mission-led innovation policy, to create the new technologies and start-ups that the UK and the rest of the world needs to cope with resource volatility.


Lord Howard (pictured) said: “Britain is a trading nation and has benefitted greatly from globalisation. But can we continue to do so while simultaneously contributing to the mitigation of global warming and addressing resource constraints? This pamphlet provides some imaginative ways in which this can be achieved. I commend it as a constructive addition to the debate.”

Zac Goldsmith added: “With the cost of resources sky rocketing in recent years, and no sign that trends will or can be reversed, there is no responsible alternative to becoming more efficient with the resources we use. This will be a defining challenge, and those companies and nations that fail to meet it will be left at a huge disadvantage.”

The pamphlet is from a series launched by Green Alliance from different parts of the political spectrum. A pamphlet looking at communicating infrastructure to the public from the perspective of social democrats including Labour politicians was launched last week, and a pamphlet on a topic key to liberalism will follow.

View the Green Conservatism pamphlet here or the Green Social Democracy pamphlet here