The Green Party welcome the government’s plans to significantly reduce the UK’s carbon output – particularly the decision to include aviation and shipping in domestic totals – but is clear that the targets must be backed up by urgent and concrete policy if they are to be achieved.
Co-leader Jonathan Bartley said: ‘We welcome the fact that the global spotlight turning towards the UK has forced the government to raise its level of climate ambition but without a clear and urgent plan to reduce CO2 the targets are meaningless.
Let’s not forget that this government is expert in greenwashing and that we are in election season. Recognising how important the climate is to so many of us they stand up and make grand announcements but then we just don’t see the clear policy and investment that could make it a reality on the ground.
With a record of spending £27 billion on road building, continuing to subsidise fossil fuels and scrapping funding for retrofit programmes to keep homes warm, the reality is that Tory climate policy is going backwards. Their policies are all completely at odds with claims to ‘green ambition’.
By contrast, the Green Party has a clear 10-point plan with policies that would achieve the new targets in the context of a green new deal, a joined-up approach covering all sectors including a green transport revolution and industrial transition beginning with green steel. This vital action would be paid for by a tax on polluters.’
For Earth Day this year, Jonathan reminded people across England and Wales that there is only one political party that has policies designed to protect people AND planet every day. He said:
‘The simple fact is, if you want Green, then you need to vote Green. Everybody is trying to boast about their Green credentials at the moment, but there is only one party that takes protecting the environment seriously.
The main two parties are completely failing to grasp the need for positive transformation coming out of the pandemic. It is Green councillors and activists on the ground, working with local communities up and down the country, who are picking up the slack and doing what they can to ensure a green recovery for all.’
Bartley said while the other parties talk up their Green credentials, their actions at local authority level are often far from Green.