Environmental policies the green NGOs want in the next government

7.4.2010 (Guardian)


The Guardian has put together the environmental election demands from some of
the NGOs and green organisations.  



Greenpeace believes that the following policies could help put Britain on track
to a greener future whilst generating thousands of new skilled jobs and bringing
billions of pounds of new investment to our shores.

1).    Meet our existing renewable energy targets. To give certainty to investors
and businesses, each party should include a manifesto commitment which pledges
to generate 15% of our energy from clean, renewable sources by 2020.

2).   Invest in a green economic recovery. Each party should commit to maintain,
or increase, public investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects
over the next parliament.

3).  Rule out highly-polluting new coal-fired power stations like the one proposed
at Kingsnorth. A commitment to introduce tough new ‘emissions performance standards’
for power plants within the first year in office would send a clear message to
utility companies that the UK’s future will be low-carbon.

4).  Limit climate changing pollution from aviation growth. A commitment to reverse
the decision to build a third runway at Heathrow within the first 100 days in
office and to freeze regional airport expansion would show that the Climate Change
Act will be taken seriously and enforced properly.

5).  Pay the UK’s fair share towards a global climate fund to protect the world’s
forests and invest in clean energy and low-carbon development. Making an annual
contribution to this fund, perhaps by raising the money from a Robin Hood tax
on financial transactions, or a levy on global aviation and shipping, would be
a real investment in the future.

6).  Cut Trident. While public services face budget squeeze across the board,
we’re set to spend £97bn on a new nuclear weapons system which even the military
says is unnecessary. Trident should be scrapped, and the money diverted to providing
Britain with a clean, prosperous and safe future.



Ask the Climate Question coalition*:

Supporters getting involved in Ask the Climate Question are calling on political
parties to act fast to keep global warming under two degrees and ensure the UK
benefits from the economic opportunities of the transition to a low carbon society,
by committing to:

• Put the UK on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% below
1990 levels by 2020, through strong domestic action.

• Ensure at least 15% of all energy to come from renewables by 2020.

•  Protect the poor from the impacts of climate change and help developing countries
curb their emissions, by committing to:

• Provide the UK’s fair share of climate finance to the developing world for
adaptation and low carbon development, in addition to existing commitments on
overseas development aid.

* WWF-UK, RSPB, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Tearfund, Greenpeace, Stop Climate Chaos
Coalition, Green Alliance and others.



Friends of the Earth:

Climate change will be one of the most important issues for whichever party forms
the next government. Most observers recognise that greenhouse gas emissions must
peak and begin to fall within the next five years – the possible lifetime of the
next parliament.

Friends of the Earth is therefore lobbying parties and candidates to back four
key policies we will keep campaigning on after the election:

Policy 1: A local carbon budget for every local authority that caps CO2 in the local
area in line with the scientific demands for emissions cuts and local circumstances;
and enough money and technical support to enable councils to do their bit to tackle
climate change.

Policy 2: Sufficient investment in switching to a low carbon economy to achieve a reduction in UK greenhouse gas emission of 42% by 2020; create jobs and boost the recovery; and eliminate fuel poverty.

Policy 3: An international deal on cutting emissions where those responsible make the
deepest cuts first, and developing countries are supported to grow in a low carbon

Policy 4: A new law which will tackle the major greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation
caused by the UK’s dependence on imported feeds for livestock – and which will
support better UK farming and domestic feed production.

But it is voters not NGOs who will persuade politicians – so you can lobby your
candidates to back these policies at  the FoE  election website. http://election.foe.co.uk/blog/?source=guardian


And FoE has some questions for doorstep canvassers:

To earn your vote, shouldn’t a candidate (and the people working for their campaign)
know the issues at stake?  
When the candidates and canvassers knock at your door, ask them one of these:

  • I believe that climate change is the most significant challenge facing the country
    and the world at the moment, do you agree?
  • Do you agree the next government should listen to its key advisors (the Committee
    on Climate Change) and cut GHG emissions by 42% by 2020?
  • How would you ensure this is a priority for the next government, and what would
    you do about it if elected? How would you get the council round here to do more?

But don’t worry too much about getting the questions absolutely right. If a canvasser
calls and you have a complete blank just remember that the most important thing
is that they realise that climate change is a key issue for you. Just put the
ball in their court by telling them you are worried about climate change – and
asking why you should vote for them rather than the other parties. Then let FoE
know what they say.

If you’re after more detailed questions to ask about climate change or fixing
the food chain
take a look at these tough posers.