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Madano Analysis – A different kind of Conservative Party Conference

Written by Troy Aharonian, Senior Account Manager, Net-Zero Transition 


This week’s Conservative Party Conference has confirmed that it whilst net zero is still the target, it has been reframed with a growth mindset as a core way to demonstrate progress for the Conservatives under Liz Truss. While it wasn’t the frantic affair some predicted, the Tory Conference made it clear that the Conservative Party is divided on several key issues. Tensions ran high in a stark contrast to the unified, calm and sometimes jubilant scenes at Liverpool’s ACC last week during Labour Party Conference. At times, it felt like there were two Tory Conferences – business seeking to press through with relevant MPs and new Ministers, while the Cabinet and PM tried to get a handle on the media landscape and present a united front.

It felt like a Conference that struggled to get going, with media overshadowing the 45p tax U-turn, a security issue that had the conference zone entrance and exit locked for an hour and policy being announced at fringe events. Despite these hiccups and a few outliers, the mood among members and MPs was generally of confidence. Incoming ministers looked to use their keynotes or panel appearances to reinforce their personal credentials and capability rather than look to set out the roadmap for their departments.

Growth was at the forefront of the Conference following the Growth Plan and pressure on the PM and Chancellor from the Bank of England and IMF. In the PM’s final address alone, the word ‘growth’ was mentioned 29 times.

Madano at the Conservative Party Conference 2022

Hydrogen UK's launch of its Hydrogen Accelerators at their panel event with Policy Exchange featuring Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Nusrat Ghani MP among others pictured. Learn more about our work with Hydrogen UK here.

Intelligent Net-Zero

The BEIS Secretary of State Jacob Rees Mogg used his speech to outline his vision and set the record straight. In a commitment to net zero by 2050 – it must be intelligent, ensure security of energy supply, and support the country this coming winter while delivering growth.

Under Boris Johnson, net zero was the story. Unlocking growth should now be the key message with Government outlining how projects can fit into this vision for securing the UK’s energy landscape and delivering economic prosperity.

A beefed-up BEIS ministerial team have clear roles – Jacob Rees Mogg’s ‘A team’ has new and diverse responsibilities. Jacob Rees-Mogg, despite ongoing concerns was open, engaging, and keen to listen to industry throughout the conference. There was support for SMEs that have shown recent growth and a signature nod to Brexit through intention to lift EU legislation to this new class of businesses.

The PM looked to bring a sense of calm, confidence, and control to her final speech, following multiple appearances at regional events highlighting levelling up. She was quick to demonstrate the progress her government has already made by bringing the gigantic energy bill support packages to the fore but also to reinforce plans to commit to defence spending and beefing up the Rwandan migrant scheme. She confirmed the UK will host the Global Investment Summit to showcase the UK’s investment case.

This was a Conservative Conference with a distinctly different feel, an edgier, grittier vibe – but one that saw climate commitments to net zero reframed in the clearest sense yet – with UK energy security and cost of living concerns being wrapped up in a push for green growth.

Contact the Net-Zero Transition team for more information at [email protected] 

Liked this blog? Check out our Labour Party Conference 2022 analysis here