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VOTER CLIMATE INFO: read the small print!

<<Hotfoot from his presentation at the lively Green Finance event recently, John Adams has been scouring through the Party manifesto offerings to identify climate issues and policies. To help inform our voting decisions - and hold parties to account afterwards! - he's shared his findings here. Lots more General Election info here.>>


Party Manifesto Statements - 2024 General Election

 

Conservative Manifesto June 2024


ENVIRONMENT

p.32 We will seek to strengthen the Commonwealth, as an organisation that accounts for over a quarter of the membership of the UN and a champion of values. We will deepen cooperation with Commonwealth partners and institutions to enhance the benefits of membership, strengthen intra-Commonwealth trade, support members facing challenges in attracting inward investment and strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable members to climate change, nature loss and environmental degradation

 

NUCLEAR POWER

p.49-50 Scale up nuclear power, building on our work establishing Great British Nuclear. Within the first 100 days of the next Parliament, we will approve two new fleets of Small Modular Reactors to rapidly expand nuclear power, create well-paid, high-skilled jobs and deliver cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy. We will halve the time it takes for new nuclear reactors to be approved, by allowing regulators to assess projects while designs are being finalised, improving join-up with overseas regulators assessing the same technology and speeding up planning and environmental approvals.

As we achieve this transition to net zero, we will take steps to ensure the technology and infrastructure is made here in the UK. We will provide a bonus, on top of contract payments that support offshore wind, to reward energy firms that invest in manufacturing in the most disadvantaged places in the UK or invest in more sustainable supply chains, creating more good jobs as we get more energy from renewables.

 

Net Zero

A pragmatic and proportionate approach to net zero. The UK has led the world on tackling climate change, having cut our emissions more than any other major economy. We will get to net zero on the fairest possible path and in a way that brings people with us. We will seize the opportunities created by the transition, opening up whole new sectors and creating hundreds of thousands of good jobs in all corners of the country. Our approach leverages the innovation and investment of the private sector to unleash technologies that cut costs for households. This has enabled us to overachieve on our targets, become a powerhouse in clean technologies, and continue to support households. We reject Labour’s dogmatic, top-down approach that will burden households with higher bills. We will cut the cost of tackling climate change for households and business, and deliver net zero by 2050,

❱ Sticking to our pragmatic, proportionate and realistic approach that eases the burdens on working people. Ensuring that 50 families are given time to make changes that affect their lives and never forcing people to rip out their existing boiler and replace it with a heat pump.

❱ Guaranteeing a vote in the next Parliament on the next stage of our pathway, with adoption of any new target accompanied by proper consideration of the plans and policies required to meet the target, to maintain democratic consent for the big decisions that net zero will mean for our country.

❱ Ensuring that green levies on household bills are lower. The cost of renewables such as wind and solar has fallen dramatically. We will ensure the annual policy costs and levies on household energy bills are lower in each year of the next Parliament than they were in 2023.

 ❱ Reforming the Climate Change Committee, giving it an explicit mandate to consider cost to households and UK energy security in its future climate advice.

❱ Ruling out creating further green levies, and alongside our commitment not to introduce road pricing schemes, we will also rule out any frequent flyer levy. Energy bills are falling, down 63% since the peak. We will take further action to ensure they are low as possible for families, by: 

❱ Maintaining our energy price cap, protecting millions of households from being overcharged by their supplier. As the energy market advances, the price cap will need to evolve and we will ensure the regulator has the necessary powers to continue protecting consumers. 

 ❱ Giving households the choice of smart energy tariffs, which can save them £900 a year. 

Almost half of homes in England are now energy efficiency Band C, up from just one in seven in 2010. We will invest £6 billion in energy efficiency over the next three years to make around a million homes warmer. And we will fund an energy efficiency voucher scheme, open to every household in England, to support the installation of energy efficiency measures and solar panels, helping families lower their bills. 

We will ensure democratic consent for onshore wind, striking the right balance between energy security and the views of their local communities. Our updated National Planning Policy Framework seeks to ensure local areas that host onshore wind directly benefit, including potentially through energy bill discounts.

P4: Cut the cost of net zero for consumers by taking a more pragmatic approach, guaranteeing no new green levies or charges while accelerating the rollout of renewables.

P49 We will cut the cost of tackling climate change for households and business, and deliver net zero by 2050, by:

❱ Sticking to our pragmatic, proportionate and realistic approach that eases the burdens on working people. Ensuring that families are given time to make changes that affect their lives and never forcing people to rip out their existing boiler and replace it with a heat pump.

❱ Guaranteeing a vote in the next Parliament on the next stage of our pathway, with adoption of any new target accompanied by proper consideration of the plans and policies required to meet the target, to maintain democratic consent for the big decisions that net zero will mean for our country.

❱ Ensuring that green levies on household bills are lower. The cost of renewables such as wind and solar has fallen dramatically. We will ensure the annual policy costs and levies on household energy bills are lower in each year of the next Parliament than they were in 2023.

❱ Ruling out creating further green levies, and alongside our commitment not to introduce road pricing schemes, we will also rule out any frequent flyer levy. Energy bills are falling, down 63% since the peak. We will take further action to ensure they are low as possible for families, by: 

❱ Maintaining our energy price cap, protecting millions of households from being overcharged by their supplier. As the energy market advances, the price cap will need to evolve and we will ensure the regulator has the necessary powers to continue protecting consumers. 

❱ Reviewing and reforming standing charges to keep them as low as possible.

❱ Delivering our Pumpwatch scheme that will force petrol retailers to share live information on their prices, helping drivers to get a fair price at the pump.

Solar

We will support solar in the right places, not on our best agricultural land. We have changed planning rules to protect the best agricultural land with a presumption that this is used for food production, while also making it easier for solar to be located on brownfield sites and on rooftops. Our new planning rules also prevent multiple solar farms being clustered in one area to help protect our rural landscapes. We will retain the current moratorium on fracking.

Floods

P66 In recent years we have seen increasingly extreme wet weather, underlining the importance of building flood resilience. Since 2010, Government investment has better protected over 600,000 properties from flooding and coastal erosion, and since 2015, has protected over 900,000 acres of farmland. In 2020, we announced a doubling of capital funding into flood defences in England to a record £5.6 billion over 2021-2027. We will maintain this record flooding funding to continue to protect homes, farms and businesses. This will work alongside the Flood Recovery Framework and Farming Recovery Fund to directly support communities, businesses and farmers affected by flooding.

We are committed to leaving the environment in a better state for future generations. We introduced our landmark Environment Act including ambitious targets to halt nature’s decline by 2030 and Biodiversity Net Gain, a world leading scheme to deliver greener new development…..

We will continue with our moratorium on deep sea mining and will ratify the Global Oceans Treaty early in the next Parliament.

 

CARBON

P.8 We will support the growth and decarbonisation of our aviation sector. We will back British Sustainable Aviation Fuel through our SAF mandate, an industry-backed revenue support mechanism and investment in future aviation technology. We will support domestic flights including through Public Service Obligations, protecting vital routes within the UK, including to islands and remote areas. We will back our maritime sector, including shipping and ports, as it decarbonises.

P.48 Build the first two carbon capture and storage clusters, based across North Wales and, the North West of England and Teesside and the Humber, cutting carbon and creating tens of thousands of jobs in these regions, and progress the second tranche of projects in Aberdeenshire and the Humber.

P.49 We will implement a new import carbon pricing mechanism by 2027 to ensure that imports of iron, steel, aluminium, ceramics and cement from countries with a lower or no carbon price will face a comparable carbon price to those goods produced in the UK. This will reduce the risk of industry being displaced to other countries which aren’t taking action on climate change.

PP. 73-74 We will continue backing the North Sea Transition Deal and Aberdeen City Region Deal, with Aberdeen’s Investment Zone bringing £160 million of support to the area over the next ten years. We will focus on supporting Scotland’s workforce transition to new industries suchas carbon capture, offshore wind, hydrogen and tidal,

including by providing £15 million to support the Energy Transition Zone’s skills programmes. We will continue laying the groundwork for nuclear projects to be taken forward in Scotland to deliver cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy.

NUCLEAR

Invest £1.1 billion into the Green Industries Growth Accelerator to support British manufacturing capabilities, boost supply chains and ensure our energy transition is made in Britain.

 ❱ Scale up nuclear power, building on our work establishing Great British Nuclear. Within the first 100 days of the next Parliament, we will approve two new fleets of Small Modular Reactors to rapidly expand nuclear power, create well-paid, high-skilled jobs and deliver cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy. We will halve the time it takes for new nuclear reactors to be approved, by allowing regulators to assess projects while designs are being finalised, improving join-up with overseas regulators assessing the same technology and speeding up planning and environmental approvals

JUST STOP OIL

PP 45-46 In recent months we have seen shocking increases in protests being used as a cover for extremist disruption and criminality. We cannot allow a small and vocal minority to destroy our democratic values. That is why we unveiled a new extremism definition under which certain groups that promote an ideology based on violence, hatred or intolerance will be blocked from government funding and meeting officials. We have passed tough new laws to curb disruptive protests.

Our Public Order Act 2023 gave the police new powers to intervene where protests cause serious disruption to communities, leading to the arrests of over 600 Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion protestors in London alone. We will introduce further powers to ban face coverings, pyrotechnics and climbing on war memorials. We will strengthen police powers to prevent protests or marches that pose a risk of serious disorder, by allowing police to take into account the cumulative impact of protests. We will ban protests outside schools to stop mobs from intimidating teachers and children. We will always support teachers to uphold and promote fundamental British values and ensure they are protected from accusations of blasphemy.

  

Labour Party Manifesto

Web Link My plan for change – The Labour Party (General Introduction)

 

The climate and nature crisis is the greatest long-term global challenge that we face. The clean energy transition represents a huge opportunity to generate growth, tackle the cost-of-living crisis and make Britain energy independent once again. That is why clean energy by 2030 is Labour’s second mission.

The Conservatives have failed to grasp opportunities in this area for two related reasons. First, because they simply do not accept that economic growth, energy security, lower bills, and addressing climate change can be complementary. Second, because they are ideologically opposed to using the role of the state, including public investment, to guarantee that they are……

Labour will take decisive action to seize this economic opportunity. We will shape markets, and use public investment to crowd in private funding. At the heart of our approach will be our Green Prosperity Plan where, in partnership with business through our National Wealth Fund, we will invest in the industries of the future. Our plan will create 650,000 jobs across the country by 2030.

We will end the chaotic Conservative chopping and changing on policy, harness clean power to boost our energy security, and invest in home insulation upgrades. We will save families hundreds of pounds on their bills, not just in the short term, but for good…..

Clean power by 2030

To deliver our clean power mission, Labour will work with the private sector to double onshore wind, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind by 2030. We will invest in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and marine energy, and ensure we have the long-term energy storage our country needs. A new Energy Independence Act will establish the framework for Labour’s energy and climate policies.

Labour will end a decade of dithering that has seen the Conservatives duck decisions on nuclear power. We will ensure the long-term security of the sector, extending the lifetime of existing plants, and we will get Hinkley Point C over the line. New nuclear power stations, such as Sizewell C, and Small Modular Reactors, will play an important role in helping the UK achieve energy security and clean power while securing thousands of good, skilled jobs.

Labour will maintain a strategic reserve of gas power stations to guarantee security of supply. We will ensure a phased and responsible transition in the North Sea that recognises the proud history of our offshore industry and the brilliance of its workforce, particularly in Scotland and the North East of England, and the ongoing role of oil and gas in our energy mix.

We will embrace the future of energy production and storage which will make use of existing offshore infrastructure and the skills of our offshore workforce. Labour will not revoke existing licences and we will partner with business and workers to manage our existing fields for the entirety of their lifespan. Crucially, oil and gas production in the North Sea will be with us for decades to come, and the North Sea will be managed in a way that does not jeopardise jobs. And our offshore workers will lead the world in the industries of the future.

We will not issue new licences to explore new fields because they will not take a penny off bills, cannot make us energy secure, and will only accelerate the worsening climate crisis. In addition, we will not grant new coal licences and will ban fracking for good.

 

To support investment in this plan, Labour will close the loopholes in the windfall tax on oil and gas companies. Companies have benefitted from enormous profits not because of their ingenuity or investment, but because of an energy shock which raised prices for British families. Labour will therefore extend the sunset clause in the Energy Profits Levy until the end of the next parliament. We will also increase the rate of the levy by three percentage points, as well as removing the unjustifiably generous investment allowances. Labour will also retain the Energy Security Investment Mechanism.

 

Switch on Great British Energy

To drive forward investment in clean, home-grown energy production, Labour will create a new publicly-owned company, Great British Energy. It will be owned by the British people and deliver power back to the British people.

Great British Energy will partner with industry and trade unions to deliver clean power by co-investing in leading technologies; will help support capital-intensive projects; and will deploy local energy production to benefit communities across the country. To support this, Labour will capitalise Great British Energy with £8.3 billion, over the next parliament.

The company will create jobs and build supply chains in every corner of the UK. Scotland will be the powerhouse of our clean energy mission, with Great British Energy headquartered there.

Local power generation is an essential part of the energy mix and reduces pressures on the transmission grid. Labour will deploy more distributed production capacity through our Local Power Plan. Great British Energy will partner with energy companies, local authorities, and co-operatives to install thousands of clean power projects, through a combination of onshore wind, solar, and hydropower projects. We will invite communities to come forward with projects, and work with local leaders and devolved governments to ensure local people benefit directly from this energy production.

Warm homes plan

The energy shock of recent years has highlighted the urgent importance of improving energy efficiency in British homes. Labour will invest an extra £6.6 billion over the next parliament, doubling the existing planned government investment, to upgrade five million homes to cut bills for families.

The Warm Homes Plan will offer grants and low interest loans to support investment in insulation and other improvements such as solar panels, batteries and low carbon heating to cut bills. We will partner with combined authorities, local and devolved governments, to roll out this plan. Labour will also work with the private sector, including banks and building societies, to provide further private finance to accelerate home upgrades and low carbon heating. We will ensure homes in the private rented sector meet minimum energy efficiency standards by 2030, saving renters hundreds of pounds per year. Nobody will be forced to rip out their boiler as a result of our plans……

Labour will make the UK the green finance capital of the world, mandating UK-regulated financial institutions – including banks, asset managers, pension funds, and insurers – and FTSE 100 companies to develop and implement credible transition plans that align with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.

The Conservatives’ decision to prevent the Bank of England giving due consideration to climate change in its mandates will be reversed.

[Labour will] improve responsible access to nature, Labour will create nine new National River Walks, one in each region of England, and establish three new National Forests in England, whilst planting millions of trees and creating new woodlands. Labour will expand nature-rich habitats such as wetlands, peat bogs and forests so families can explore and wildlife can thrive, including on public land. Labour is committed to reducing waste by moving to a circular economy.

 

Lib Dems Manifesto

 

Climate Change and Energy

……. The independent Climate Change Committee warns that the Government is not on track to meet its legally binding targets.

Liberal Democrats are committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045 at the latest….

We will:

Make homes warmer and cheaper to heat with a ten-year emergency upgrade programme, starting with free insulation and heat pumps for those on low incomes, and ensure that all new homes are zero-carbon.

Drive a rooftop solar revolution by expanding incentives for households to install solar panels, including a guaranteed fair price for electricity sold back into the grid.

Invest in renewable power so that 90% of the UK’s electricity is generated from renewables by 2030.

Appoint a Chief Secretary for Sustainability in the Treasury to ensure that the economy is sustainable, resource-efficient and zero-carbon, establish a new Net Zero Delivery Authority to coordinate action across government departments and work with devolved administrations, and hand more powers and resources to local councils for local net zero strategies.

Establish national and local citizens’ assemblies to give people real involvement in the decisions needed to tackle climate change.

Restore the UK’s role as a global leader on climate change, by returning international development spending to 0.7% of national income, with tackling climate change a key priority for development spending.

in addition, we will:

Take the action needed now to achieve net zero by 2045, including:

Meeting the UK’s commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by at least 68% from 1990 levels by 2030.

Requiring the National Infrastructure Commission to take fully into account the environmental implications of all national infrastructure decisions.

Putting tackling climate change at the heart of a new industrial strategy, as set out in chapter 4.

Investing in education and training to equip people with the skills needed for the low-carbon economy of the future, as set out in chapters 4 and 8.

Ensuring that nature-based solutions, including tree planting, form a critical part of the UK’s strategy to tackle climate change, as set out in chapter 12.

Putting our farming and food system on an environmentally sustainable footing, as set out in chapter 13.

Making it cheaper and easier to switch to electric vehicles, restoring the requirement that every new car and small van sold from 2030 is zero-emission, investing in active travel and public transport, electrifying Britain’s railways, and reducing the climate impact of flying, as set out in chapter 16.

Coordinating action across the UK by creating a Joint Climate Council of the Nations, as set out in chapter 20. 

Cut energy bills and emissions, and end fuel poverty, by:

Launching an emergency Home Energy Upgrade programme, with free insulation and heat pumps for low-income households and a central role for local authorities in delivering this programme.

Providing incentives for installing heat pumps that cover the real costs.

Immediately requiring all new homes and non-domestic buildings to be built to a zero-carbon standard, including being fitted with solar panels, and progressively increasing standards as technology improves.

Reintroducing requirements for landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties to EPC C or above by 2028.

Introducing a new subsidised Energy-Saving Homes scheme, with pilots to find the most effective combination of tax incentives, loans and grants, together with advice and support.

Introducing a social tariff for the most vulnerable to provide targeted energy discounts for vulnerable households.

Helping people with the cost of living and their energy bills by implementing a proper, one-off windfall tax on the super-profits of oil and gas producers and traders.

Decoupling electricity prices from the wholesale gas price.

Eliminating unfair regional differences in domestic energy bills. 

Accelerate the deployment of renewable power and deliver energy security by:

Removing the Conservatives’ unnecessary restrictions on new solar and wind power, and supporting investment and innovation in tidal and wave power in particular.

Maintaining the ban on fracking and introducing a ban on new coal mines.

Building the grid infrastructure required, facilitated by a strategic Land and Sea Use Framework as set out in chapter 15.

Implementing the UK’s G7 pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies, while ensuring a just transition that values the skills and experience of people working in the oil and gas industry and provides good opportunities for them, and takes special care of the regions and communities most affected.

Investing in energy storage, including green hydrogen, pumped storage and battery capability.

Working together with our European neighbours to build a sustainable supply chain for renewable energy technology.

Building more electricity interconnectors between the UK and other countries to guarantee security of supply, located carefully to avoid disruption to local communities and minimise environmental damage. 

Support the expansion of community and decentralised energy, including:

Empowering local authorities to develop local renewable electricity generation and storage strategies.

Giving small low-carbon generators the right to export their electricity to an existing electricity supplier on fair terms.

Requiring large energy suppliers to work with community schemes to sell the power they generate to local customers.

Reducing access costs for grid connections.

Reforming the energy network to permit local energy grids.

Guaranteeing that community benefit funds receive a fair share of the wealth generated by local renewables infrastructure. 

Restore the UK’s role as a global leader on climate change by:

Showing leadership on the Paris Agreement by meeting the UK’s Nationally Determined Contribution and arguing for greater global ambition.

Working together with our European neighbours to tackle the climate emergency, including by associating the UK Emissions Trading System with the EU ETS.

Continuing the UK’s support for the UN Loss and Damage Fund for countries particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, to ensure a just transition for all.

Pressing for all OECD countries to agree to end subsidies for foreign fossil fuel projects. 

Hold businesses to account for their role in tackling climate change by:

Introducing a general duty of care for the environment, as set out in chapter 4.

Requiring all large companies listed on UK stock exchanges to set targets consistent with achieving the net zero goal, and to report on their progress.

Regulating financial services to encourage climate-friendly investments, including requiring pension funds and managers to show that their portfolio investments are consistent with the Paris Agreement, and creating new powers for regulators to act if banks and other investors are not managing climate risks properly. 

Support British industry to cut emissions by:

Setting out a clear and stable roadmap to net zero, repairing the damage done by Conservative U-turns and giving businesses the confidence to invest.

Expanding the market for climate-friendly products and services with steadily higher criteria in public procurement policy.

Implementing the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism for high-emission products, protecting UK businesses from unfair competition.

Reducing emissions from industrial processes by supporting carbon capture and storage and new low-carbon processes for cement and steel production.

Providing more advice to companies on cutting emissions, supporting the development of regional industrial clusters for zero-carbon innovation and increasing the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund.

 

Green Party

Accelerating clean energy investment and delivery

The UK’s current climate targets do not reflect the urgency of the climate crisis. We would push the Government to transition to a zero-carbon society as soon as possible, and more than a decade ahead of 2050.

This ambition will deliver a zerocarbon electricity supply and security of supply over short and long periods of low generation, with sufficient electricity for all cars and vans to be electric, for all homes and buildings to stop using fossil fuels, and for most industry to transition to clean energy.

Elected Greens will push for:

  • Wind to provide around 70% of the UK’s electricity by 2030.

  • Delivery of 80GW of offshore wind, 53 GW of onshore wind, and 100 GW of solar by 2035. (Currently UK Demand is about 32GW – 60GW, installed capacity is 75GW -  Green figures look too hign?)

  •  

  • Investment in energy storage capacity and more efficient electricity distribution.

  • Communities to own their own energy sources, ensuring they can use any profit from selling excess energy to reduce their bills or benefit their communities.

 

Phasing out fossil fuels

  • Cancel recent fossil fuel licences such as for Rosebank and stop all new fossil fuel extraction projects in the UK.

  • Remove all oil and gas subsidies.

  • Introduce a carbon tax on all fossil fuel imports and domestic extraction, based on greenhouse gas emissions produced when fuel is burned.

Nuclear power

We want to see the phase-out of nuclear energy, which is unsafe and much more expensive than renewables. The development of nuclear power stations is too slow given the pace of action we need on climate. They also create unmanageable quantities of radioactive waste and are inextricably linked with the production of nuclear weapons. (AMRs?)

 

Reform Party “Contract”

Imagine Affordable, Stable Energy Bills Scrap energy levies and Net Zero to slash energy bills and save each household £500 per year. Unlock Britain’s vast oil and gas reserves to beat the cost of living crisis and unleash real economic growth

 

Net Zero is pushing up bills, damaging British industries like steel, and making us less secure. We can protect our environment with more tree planting, more recycling and less single use plastics. New technology will help, but we must not impoverish ourselves in pursuit of unaffordable, unachievable global CO2 targets..

CRITICAL REFORMS NEEDED IN THE FIRST 100 DAYS:

Scrap Net Zero and Related Subsidies Ditching Net Zero could save the public sector over £30 billion per year for the next 25 years.

Scrap Annual £10 Billion of Renewable Energy Subsidies. Achieve this through equivalent taxes on them. Renewables are not cheaper. Our bills have increased dramatically in line with the huge increase in renewables capacity over the last 15 years. Cheap, Secure Energy for Britain

Start fast-track licences of North Sea gas and oil. Grant shale gas licences on test sites for 2 years. Enable major production when safety is proven, with local compensation schemes.

Thereafter: Cleaner Energy from New Technology Fast-track clean nuclear energy with new Small Modular Reactors, built in Britain. Increase and incentivise ethical UK lithium mining for electric batteries, combined cycle gas turbines, clean synthetic fuel, tidal power and expl

 

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