UK election watch: the top 15 climate stories you can’t miss
From green budgets to clean energy promises, each week we're publishing the top climate stories you need to know about ahead of the UK general election. A majority of people in the UK say the climate crisis will influence how they vote next month, with younger voters feeling particularly strongly about the issue, according to a ground-breaking opinion poll from ClientEarth, supported by Greenhouse. If you haven’t yet registered to vote, sign up here.
- Tree planting: Tories and Lib Dems have both committed to extensive tree planting schemes if elected – but the two parties are competing over numbers, with Tories claiming to plant 30 million trees, and the Lib Dems claiming 60 million. (Read more: BBC – Tories and Lib Dems in rival tree-planting pledges).
- Greens’ Carbon Chancellor: The Green Party says it plans to appoint a Carbon Chancellor, pledging to issue an annual carbon budget and create a new Department for the Green New Deal. (Read more: BBC – Green Party pledges to appoint 'carbon chancellor').
- Climate spending pledges: Lib Dems have pledged to spend £100bn over five years on a climate fund to “decarbonise capitalism”, compared to the Greens’ £100bn a year for ten years; Labour is yet to announce a total spending figure. (Read more: BusinessGreen – Labour, Lib Dems, and Greens go head to head with fresh wave of 'climate emergency' pledges).
- Conservative ‘clean energy revolution’: In a keynote speech at an electric car plant, Boris Johnson promised a ‘clean energy revolution’, including a doubling of research and development investment to £18bn. (Read more: Telegraph – Boris Johnson promises 'clean energy revolution' once Brexit is done).
- Boris’ slow reaction to Northern England floods: Following a clip of Boris Johnson using a mop going viral online, the Prime Minister has been criticised for his slow response to the flooding crisis and poor flood defence schemes. (Read more: Guardian – Johnson’s slow response to flooding here in Yorkshire could cost him the election).
- Tories’ environmental record: Top scientists and former government advisers have attacked the Conservative government’s record on delivering on environmental policies, and is currently on course to miss several key targets. (Read more: Guardian – Scientists and climate advisers condemn Tory environmental record, Are the Tories' green commitments all talk and little action?).
- Climate Election: Caroline Lucas calls on people to vote with the climate crisis in mind, and to elect a government which will implement radical climate policies rather than minor tweaks. (Read more: Huck – ‘This is our chance, it may be one of the last we have left’).
- New homes to be built in flood zones: A Greenpeace investigation has revealed plans for almost 10,000 homes to be built on flood-prone areas of England, including across Yorkshire and Derbyshire. (Read more:BBC – Thousands of homes to be built in flood zones).
- Party policy comparisons: Yesterday, the Guardian released a helpful summation of all the major parties’ environmental policy pledges announced so far. (Read more: Guardian – How do the parties propose to tackle the climate crisis?).
- Climate TV debate: Over 120,000 people have signed a petition calling for a televised election debate on climate change, in a campaign led by Possible and UKSCN. Greenhouse is a signatory to this campaign; keep an eye out for our posts on social throughout the week. (Read more: Ecologist – Public call for TV election climate debate).
- Voter registration: over 1.5 million people have registered to vote since the general election was called just over two weeks ago. (Read more: Independent – More than 1.5 million people apply for voter registration in fortnight since poll called). N.B: If you haven’t yet registered to vote, sign up here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
- Green Party manifesto: Out this morning, the Green Party manifesto includes a zero carbon by 2030 pledge (Read Greens pledge zero carbon by 2030 in manifesto)
Coming up this week
- Labour manifesto launch: Labour’s manifesto, including details of its Green New Deal plans, is to be launched on Thursday; meanwhile, the Conservatives are likely to delay the launch of their manifesto until two weeks before election day, and the Brexit Party will not release a manifesto at all.
- Election debate: The first election debate of the campaign shall be happening live this Tuesday evening on ITV, a head-to-head between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn – make sure to listen out for potential questions on climate change / environmental policies.
- Turnout for climate: Keep an eye out for the It’s Our Time campaign, which is running two projects this week, with the aim of encouraging young people to register to vote for climate change.
While more climate related news is breaking each week in the lead up to the election, the most critical issue of our time urgently needs a bigger spotlight. Join over 120,000 people and sign this petition calling for a televised election debate on climate change, in a campaign led by Possible and UKSCN and supported by Greenhouse.
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