Friends of the Earth have ranked the Labour Party manifesto as the highest scoring of all the political party manifestos against their own manifesto for the environment. We scored 33/45 meaning that we have an ambitious but achievable plan, but that we need to keep building and keep striving to do better.
Over many years campaigners, including dedicated politicians from the Green Party who deserve credit here, have lobbied and pushed for meaningful policy to avoid a climate emergency. I feel that for the first time the Labour Party has truly heard their calls and answered with a real plan that we can deliver in government.
Climate change caused by rising temperatures is the biggest threat we face. This is a global threat and the UK alone cannot solve the problem. But, we can be world leaders and we can commit to use our voices to strongly encourage others on the international stage to act before it is too late. We simply must reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere, there is no two ways about it.
The next five years are crucial. If we haven’t established the infrastructure to move away from fossil fuels in that time, then we will have baked in their use beyond our 2030 goal of net zero carbon emissions. This cannot wait for the private sector to find profits in renewables- the market is not going to move fast enough. The Green Industrial Revolution needs a bold and confident government to deliver change so that we as a population can all make the changes we must all make to avoid catastrophic climate change.
This means that moving to cleaner, greener energy, and energy savings must be affordable and accessible for all. We plan to insulate every home making them more energy efficient and therefore cheaper to run. We’ll put solar panels on thousands of rooves so that domestic and public energy generation is based upon renewables.
We have a plan for the bus network, making it not only a zero emissions fleet, but also to improve the network so that people can move away from private car use. We’re improving options for walking and cycling, and investing in the electric vehicle technology we will still need. This will have an impact on our collective carbon emissions and also on our local air quality. Low air quality is stunting the growth of our children’s lungs- this is an environmental health scandal!
Labour has a plan for nature that will see millions of trees planted and a commitment to land husbandry that integrates our need for sustainable food and sustainable wild habitats. We’re safeguarding nature in new national parks and protecting wildlife in our animal welfare manifesto.
My first activism was as an environmental campaigner as a young teenager and the issue is even more pressing now. I am excited about what we plan to deliver, and also adamant that there is no choice but to get started right away.
You can read about our plans here:
Labour’s Plan for Nature: https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/FINAL-FOR-WEB_13172_19-Environment-Manifesto.pdf
Green Industrial Revolution: https://labour.org.uk/manifesto/a-green-industrial-revolution/
Animal Welfare Manifesto: https://labour.org.uk/issues/animal-welfare-manifesto/