human activity and the destruction of the planet

Election 2017: What the manifestos say on energy and climate change. An analysis by Carbon Brief

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On 8 June, the UK will head to the polls for the third time in as many years. In an election dominated by Brexit, Carbon Brief will be tracking the climate change and energy content of parties’ manifestos, as they are launched.

First out of the blocks was the Green Party, with a dedicated seven-page environment manifesto published on 11 May (its full “Green Guarantee” manifesto followed later). The Labour Party saw a draft of its plans leaked on the same day. Its official manifesto launch came on 16 May, as did Plaid Cymru’s “Action Plan 2017“.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto was published on 17 May, with the Conservatives following on 18 May. Following a suspension of campaigning following the terrorist bomb in Manchester on 22 May, UKIP launched its manifesto on 25 May. The SNP manifesto, “Stronger for Scotland”, was published on 30 May.

Carbon Brief has given a detailed table of what each of the parties have said in their manifestos about energy and climate change.  It can be found here:

Despite the hopes of some groups, climate change has barely featured as an election issue so far. In his speech launching the Labour manifesto, Jeremy Corbyn made no mention of climate change. Theresa May’s launch speech also avoided the subject.

Nevertheless, the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, SNP and Plaid all reiterate support for UK climate targets in their manifestos, with the three largest parties also explicitly naming the Paris Agreement. The Conservatives say:

We will continue to take a lead in global action against climate change, as the government demonstrated by ratifying the Paris Agreement.”

Labour says it will “reclaim Britain’s leading role” on tackling climate change, while the Greens say:

With 2016 the hottest year on record, and a climate-denier in the White House, the need for bold and dynamic action on climate change has never been more urgent.”

Plaid Cymru says the British government is “neglecting its international duty to reduce…emissions”. It wants a new Climate Change Act, with “ambitious but achievable” targets for 2030 and 2050. The SNP says Scotland has a “world leading” target to cut emissions 42% below 1990 levels by 2020 and it wants the UK government to “match Scotland’s commitment and ambition”. The Lib Dems say:

With the election of Donald Trump in the US and Britain’s vote to leave the EU, the tides of isolationism and populism could halt or even reverse the progress [on climate change] that has been made. Liberal Democrats are determined that we live up to our environmental obligations.”

The Lib Dems reprise their pledge, also made in 2015, to legislate for a Zero-Carbon Britain Act, while party leader Tim Farron mentioned climate change twice in his launch speech.

UKIP repeats it long-held commitment to repeal the Climate Change Act, which it says “has no basis in science”.

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