Cameron in 'green crap' row

Reports that Prime Minister David Cameron is 'at the centre of a storm' over whether he ordered aides to 'get rid of all the green crap' to cut energy bills feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports
that the comments, attributed to Cameron in the Sun newspaper by a senior Tory source, "sparked a furious reaction from campaigners accusing the Prime Minister of abandoning his promise to run the greenest government ever". The newspaper says that, although Downing Street said it did not "recognise" the phrase as one used by the Prime Minister, Cameron's team has not explicitly denied that he had ever referred to environmental policies as "green crap".

The Independent reports that Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasury, has "stoked up coalition tensions" as he responded to the newspaper reports. According to the newspaper, Alexander said green levies on energy were designed to help insulate the homes of poorer families and create tens of thousands of jobs by investing in future energy sources. In a swipe at his Tory coalition colleagues, he said: "Anyone who thinks we should get rid of that is full of crap", the newspaper says.

The Independent also reports that Scotland "will become the first state in the world to put a price on the value of its natural environment and the benefits it provides, in a pioneering project which could transform the way it makes decisions on planning". The newspaper says academics have estimated that nature is worth between £21.5 billion and £23 billion a year to Scotland’s economy. The newspaper says that First Minister Alex Salmond has "pledged to calculate the monetary value of Scotland’s natural capital, the cost of depleting it and to communicate its importance across business and society".

Countryside pressure group the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has declared it is "open to" shale gas fracking, the Telegraph reports. According to the newspaper, CPRE said it would back the controversial process because there were "no easy solutions" to Britain’s energy problems and called for a "calm debate" on the issue.

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