This article outlines the Conservative Party’s approach to climate change from 2015-2022; focusing on its governing policy record and the wider political considerations which shaped it. During this time, the Conservatives’ mixed performance reflected competing political incentives for its leaders and internal party division on the issue. A detailed exploration of Conservative climate policies allows for two broader contributions. European centre right parties often face common strategic challenges, such as competition from the radical right, but the UK Conservative Party case study shows that responding to these challenges does not necessarily demand the abandonment of climate commitments. We also find evidence that in this period climate change embodied characteristics of both a positional and valence issue.
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- Climate change; UK climate policy; Conservative party; party politics; centre right parties.