Climate Feedback

Election 2010: the parties on climate change

Olive Heffernan

lib dem.bmp

In what is anticipated to be the most closely contested election since 1992, Conservative leader David Cameron will, on May 6th, attempt to oust Gordon Brown and end 13 years of Labour Party rule in the UK. But if – as some are predicting – Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg manages to wrestle enough votes from Cameron and Brown, there is a chance of a coalition forming between two parties.

Some of the major issues the election could be won on are the economy, immigration and crime. On the environment, climate change remains a key issue. The Telegraph has a breakdown of the energy and climate policies of the main parties, which I’ve included in summary form below. And the Guardian is offering readers a chance to pose their suggestions for environmental policies the parties ought to adopt in their election campaign. You can add to the list of ‘environmental demands’ here. Or you can join the Guardian debate with the three leading party’s climate and energy ministers, being held in London this Wednesday. Details of how you can pose your questions virtually – via Twitter or Facebook – are available here. I’ll be popping along and will be back here later in the week with a postmortem. Also of interest is climatologist Myles Allen’s piece on why he won’t be voting Green.

Labour’s energy and climate-change policies include:

• Achieving around 40 per cent low-carbon electricity by 2020

• Creating 400,000 new green jobs by 2015

• Making greener living easier and fairer through ‘pay as you save’ home energy insulation

• Energy-bill discounts for pensioners

• Banning recyclable and biodegradable materials from landfill

Key Conservative environment policies include:

• Working towards zero waste

• Providing incentives to recycle

• Encouraging sustainable water management

• Work for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

• Offering every household a Green Deal

• Transforming electricity networks with ‘smart grid’ and ‘smart meter’ technology

• Expanding offshore wind and marine power

Key Liberal Democtrats environmental policies include:

• Pledging that at least 20 per cent of energy and 40 per cent of electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020 rising to 100 per cent by 2050

• Seeking to toughen limits on pollution across Europe

• Introduce a supermarket ombudsman to get a fair deal for farmers

• Ensuring guaranteed fair prices for energy consumers

• Making energy suppliers ensure homes are well insulated

• Roll-out of smart metering in five years

• More investment in public transport to cut emissions


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