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What are the main political parties saying about the environment? A breakdown.

A recent poll has shown that 74% of Brits under the age of 25 have said that climate change would influence their vote in December, so here is a breakdown of what the main political parties are saying about the environment...

Plastic waste


The Conservatives

Michael Gove has announced a ban on plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers, which will come into play next year. This ban would contribute to reducing Britain's plastic waste considerably.


Conservatives in the past introduced the charge for plastic bags in 2015, which has cut the number of bags in circulation by a staggering 86%. Ministers have also stated that they will be introducing a plastic tax, this will be for packaging, and will be implemented in 2022. The tax will apply unless it includes 30% recycled materials.


Labour

Labour has stated that they want to set targets for plastic bottle deposit schemes, a like to some European countries that already have the system in place. They have also pledged that they will press manufacturers to reduce waste.


The Green Party

The Green Party pledge to move towards a zero waste society. They state they will make it easier for everyone to recycle and take tough action to reduce plastic and other waste.


In some European countries over 90% of plastic bottles are recycled through Deposit Return Schemes – and the Green Party pledge they want to meet and beat this target. They aim to recycle 70% of domestic waste within 5 years, and to move towards a zero-waste system, with food waste and other organic material being banned from landfill.


Climate Change


The Conservatives

The Conservatives are planning to make the UK the first major economy to go carbon neutral by 2050. The party has previously managed to reduce greenhouse gases by 25% since 2010. They have further stated to plant a million trees to contribute to offsetting carbon.


Labour

Labour have pledged to top the conservatives, and go carbon neutral by 2030. They also state that they will create a new clean air act, to help assist emission targets.


The Green Party

The Greens wish to strengthen international agreements on climate change. They pledge we should lead the world in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement, made in 2015 to keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees - and show that we can go further and faster and keep rises to below 1.5 degrees.


The party also want to reform animal farming. They believe producing food shouldn’t go hand in hand with animal suffering, and will enforce tougher regulations. They will help consumers choose cruelty free food with mandatory labelling of meat and dairy products to indicate method of production, country of origin and method of slaughter.


Greens state they will be planting more trees. They will introduce a Forests Protection Bill to safeguard existing woodland and plant a new generation of forests.


The Lib Dems

Sitting in the middle of the Conservatives and labour, the Lib Dems have pledged to go carbon neutral by 2045. They have demanded citizen's assemblies, as well as a green investment bank to help fund new technologies.


Energy


The Conservatives

The Conservatives wish to pause fracking until evidence proves it is a safe procedure to extract gas, and does not increase the chances of earthquakes. Furthermore, conservatives wish to end the burning of coal, which is one of the most polluting fossil fuels, for electricity by 2025.


Labour

Stated they will ban fracking entirely, as this will prevent Britain meeting carbon emissions target. Jeremy Corbyn has in the past urged Boris Johnson to ban fracking for gas as research by Labour shows it will stop the UK meeting a net zero target for carbon emissions this century.


The Green Party

The Greens will also ban fracking, stating that as there is so much potential for other "clean renewable energy to be captured from the sun, wind and our coastline, there is just no reason to be fracking for shale gas." They will aim to build a future on renewable energy, as well as completely de-carbonising the energy system.


The Lib Dems

With the promise to ban fracking, the Lib Dems also plan to increase renewable energy by 80% by doubling solar and wind farms by 2030.


Green Homes


The Conservatives

Promising to reduce carbon emissions from new homes, as well as ensure they are more energy efficient.


Labour

Labour want to install solar panels on two million homes, focusing on renewable energy sources. They aim to spend £60billion on upgrading homes to the highest possible standards, focusing on keeping the warmth in. This would help promote a deduction in energy consumption.


The party also wishes to replace millions of gas boilers with more eco-friendly alternatives. For those with a low income they will be paid for, but for those with a high income, they will be able to apply for an interest free loan. They have stated they will ban gas heating for new houses by 2025, but gas hobs will still be allowed.


The Green Party

The party will reduce the UK's energy consumption. Stating "Everyone deserves to live in a warm home, and to have affordable energy bills." To help achieve this they pledge they will roll out a nationwide insulation programme, ensuring that everyone lives in a home that preserves heat and uses energy effectively. Furthermore, ensuring all new homes to be built to the highest energy efficiency standards.


The Lib Dems

Pledging to upgrade every home to a higher standard in regards to the energy performance ratings by 2025. The Lib Dems will spend an additional £15billion on home insulation to help reduce energy consumption.


Transport


The Conservatives

Pledging they will provide more funding for electric cars, paying £1billion extra over five years to improve green technology in the motor industry. The party plans to phase out sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040.



Labour

Labour have stated £38billion will be put towards funding for green transport technology, and they plan to axe new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. To further reduce transport emissions they wish to bring railways back into public ownership, and support local bus services. There have also been discussions on introducing free bus travel for under 25s.


The Green Party

The party wish to bring railways and buses into community hands, a like to Labour, they want to bring railways and bus routes back into public ownership. As well as reducing fares and giving rail workers, passenger groups, and local authorities a far greater say on how services are run.


They wish to scarp the high speed 2 and instead use the money to invest in the much needed upgrade of regional services, including creating new rail links in rural areas. The party has said they will give local authorities the support they need to restore lost bus routes and create entirely new ones.


The Lib Dems

Similar to labour, the Lib Dems want to stop the sales of diesel and petrol cars by 2030, expanding the use of electrical vehicles.


Ocean Conservation


The Green Party

The Greens will expand environmental protections at sea, through creating and enforcing new Marine Conservation Zones around the UK's shores. A new Office for Environmental Protection and an Environmental Court will be instituted also, to monitor and enforce new longterm goals for biodiversity, water and air quality.



The above information is brief, and there are many factors to take on board. We recommend you read through each parties' manifesto carefully before voting in December.

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