The Climate Election, Post 5 of 5: Brexit Party

The Brexit Party have chosen not to release a manifesto. Their website has a policies section but climate change is not mentioned even in passing. In fact, a search of their website reveals the word “climate” only comes up once in a brief paragraph about one of their MEPs.

The only things relevant to climate change that I could find were under their investment policy section:

The Brexit Party is developing policies in a number of areas that can only be implemented via a Clean-Break Brexit: investing in and supporting key public services, protecting the environment and growing recycling initiatives, and other targeted investments in fishing and strategic industries.

Invest in Fishing and Coastal Communities: with a Clean-Break Brexit we recover full control of our waters, a huge opportunity to regenerate our coastal communities with new investment, jobs and tourism. The Boris EU treaty does NOT return control of our territorial waters.

Invest in the Environment and Recycling: we need to plant tens of millions of trees and ensure we recycle our waste in this country and not export it across the world to be burnt.

profile photo of Rob Sherratt
Rob Sherratt is the Brexit Party candidate for Preston

So what would a vote for The Brexit Party look like in Preston? Well Preston is a “safe Labour seat” so it’s very unlikely that The Brexit Party will overtake them, but votes for any party are still counted and added to statistics at both the local and national level. So a vote for The Brexit Party would send a message to whoever is elected that you support Brexit Party policies.

Please Note

Climate Action Preston is an apolitical group. We don’t favour any one political party over another. That’s why I’ll be looking in the same way at all the available manifestos of the parties represented by Preston candidates over the next couple of weeks. I’m not going to tell you how to vote because that has to be an individual decision, but please consider the climate when you do vote. That could mean deciding on your candidate, and then emailing/tweeting them to say something like this:

“I think I want to vote for you on the 12th December, but first I want to know what you intend to do about climate change if you are elected to represent me.”

If you do tweet, we’d love to be tagged: @PrestonAction #PrestonClimateElection

The Climate Election, Post 4 of 5: Conservatives

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Here is the Conservative manifesto.

On an introductory page, there is a list of Boris Johnson’s ‘guarantees’ which includes:

Reaching Net Zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution.

Half of page 45 mentions reducing waste and planting trees under the heading “Stewards of our environment”.

The manifesto is 64 pages long. 1 page (page 57) is devoted specifically to climate change policy. Included are points about reducing plastic pollution, deforestation, electric vehicle infrastructure, clean energy, jobs in clean growth and making buildings more energy efficient. There’s not really enough space on that one page to say much about how they intend to see these things through though, other than that they will spend a lot of money.

Michele Scott is the Conservative candidate for Preston, but whocanivotefor.co.uk doesn’t have her picture, which is where I’ve found photos of the other candidates.

So what would a vote for the Conservatives look like in Preston? Well Preston is a “safe Labour seat” so it’s unlikely that the Conservatives will knock Labour out of the top spot, but a vote for the Conservatives will still be counted and added to local and national statistics, sending a message to whoever does gain power that you support Conservative policies.

Please Note

Climate Action Preston is an apolitical group. We don’t favour any one political party over another. That’s why I’ll be looking in the same way at all the available manifestos of the parties represented by Preston candidates over the next couple of weeks. I’m not going to tell you how to vote because that has to be an individual decision, but please consider the climate when you do vote. That could mean deciding on your candidate, and then emailing/tweeting them to say something like this:

“I think I want to vote for you on the 12th December, but first I want to know what you intend to do about climate change if you are elected to represent me.”

If you do tweet, we’d love to be tagged: @PrestonAction #PrestonClimateElection



The Climate Election, Post 3 of 5: Lib Dems

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Here’s the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

Their introduction includes the following paragraphs about climate change:

A Liberal Democrat government will take urgent action to save our planet. We are the last generation that can stop irreversible climate change. We’ve already seen how foods and wildfires are becoming an ever more regular occurrence in our country. And, though we should be proud to be the first country to declare a climate emergency, we cannot ignore the fact that the government has done little else since then. In the meantime, it’s been young people who have consistently put the climate crisis back on the agenda with their inspirational climate strikes.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party with a radical, credible and detailed plan to tackle the climate emergency as soon as possible. We will deliver a ten-year emergency programme to cut greenhouse gas emissions substantially straightaway and phase out emissions from the remaining hard-to-treat sectors by 2045 at the latest. By 2030 we will generate 80 per cent of our electricity from renewables and 8 Liberal Democrat Election Manifesto 2019 cut energy bills and emissions by insulating homes, prioritising bringing 3.5 million households out of fuel poverty by 2025.

They have a 10-page section on climate change policy (their manifesto is 100 pages in total). Here’s their list of top priorities:

Our first priorities in the next parliament will be:

● An emergency programme to insulate all Britain’s homes by 2030, cutting emissions and fuel bills and ending fuel poverty.

● Investing in renewable power so that at least 80 per cent of UK electricity is generated from renewables by 2030 – and banning fracking for good.

● Protecting nature and the countryside, tackling biodiversity loss and planting 60 million trees a year to absorb carbon, protect wildlife and improve health.

● Investing in public transport, electrifying Britain’s railways and ensuring that all new cars are electric by 2030.

profile photo of Neil Darby
Neil Darby is the Lib Dem candidate for Preston

So what will a vote for the Lib Dems mean in Preston? Well Preston is a “safe Labour seat” meaning that based on the general election in 2017 it’s very unlikely that the Liberal Democrats will overtake Labour and win the vote. However, a vote for a party like the Lib Dems is still counted and added to both local and national statistic. It sends a message to whoever does end up in power that there is support for Lib Dem policy.

Please Note

Climate Action Preston is an apolitical group. We don’t favour any one political party over another. That’s why I’ll be looking in the same way at all the available manifestos of the parties represented by Preston candidates over the next couple of weeks. I’m not going to tell you how to vote because that has to be an individual decision, but please consider the climate when you do vote. That could mean deciding on your candidate, and then emailing/tweeting them to say something like this:

“I think I want to vote for you on the 12th December, but first I want to know what you intend to do about climate change if you are elected to represent me.”

If you do tweet, we’d love to be tagged: @PrestonAction #PrestonClimateElection

P.S. Neil Darby for the Lib Dems has been the only candidate so far to sign up to the Friends of the Earth Climate Action Pledge on Twitter.

The Climate Election, Post 2 of 5: Labour

Here’s Labour’s 2019 manifesto.

The Foreword mentions that this is a “climate election” among other things, and goes on to state:

We will kick-start a Green Industrial Revolution to tackle the climate emergency by shifting to renewable energy, investing in rail and electric cars, and making housing energy efficient, to reduce fuel poverty and excess winter deaths.

We will create a million climate jobs in every region and nation of the UK – good, skilled jobs that will bring prosperity back to parts of our country neglected for too long.

The manifesto then has 14 pages-worth of information about how they will tackle climate change related issues (it’s 107 pages long in total). I’ve taken the headings and introductory paragraph from each section, but please read the full yourself if you think you’d like to vote for them.

Economy and Energy: This election is about the crisis of living standards and the climate and environmental emergency. Whether we are ready or not, we stand on the brink of unstoppable change.

Sub headings for this section are:

  • Investment
  • Levelling up across the country
  • Energy
  • Ownership
  • Industry and innovation
  • Skills

Transport: Labour will build a sustainable, affordable, accessible and integrated transport system, founded on the principle that transport is an essential public service

Environment: A Labour government’s Green Industrial Revolution is complemented by our Plan for Nature. Our commitments to ecosystem repair and environmental protections work hand in hand with sustainable jobs and industries, and social justice.

Sub headings:

  • A healthy environment
  • Nature restoration
  • Land
  • Food
  • Waste and recycling
profile photo of Mark Hendrick
Sir Mark Hendrick: Preston candidate for Labour (and current MP)

So what would a vote for Labour look like in Preston? Well Preston is a “safe Labour seat”. Labour got 24,210 votes in the 2017 general election. The next most popular party was the Conservatives with 8,487 votes. It’s highly unlikely that the numbers will change enough to knock Labour out of the top spot. A vote for Labour in Preston increases Mark Hendrick’s mandate and provides evidence of his strong public support.

Please Note

Climate Action Preston is an apolitical group. We don’t favour any one political party over another. That’s why I’ll be looking in the same way at all the available manifestos of the parties represented by Preston candidates over the next couple of weeks. I’m not going to tell you how to vote because that has to be an individual decision, but please consider the climate when you do vote. That could mean deciding on your candidate, and then emailing/tweeting them to say something like this:

“I think I want to vote for you on the 12th December, but first I want to know what you intend to do about climate change if you are elected to represent me.”

If you do tweet, we’d love to be tagged: @PrestonAction #PrestonClimateElection



The Climate Election, Post 1 of 5: Greens

With a general election looming, we have a valuable opportunity to engage our politicians in the debate about climate change. Brexit is usually the top news story when it comes to politics, but climate change is a much bigger deal. Climate change affects everyone on the planet – people, animals and plant life. If we don’t act quickly and drastically to keep the global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees, the consequences will be catastrophic and outside our control. As individuals there’s a lot we can do, but our political leaders are the ones with the most power to make big, impactful changes. It’s essential that they act on climate change first and foremost.

In the Preston constituency, we have five candidates standing for election:

  • Mark Hendrick is the current MP and will be standing again for Labour
  • Michele Scott for the Conservatives
  • Michael Welton for the Greens
  • Neil Darby for the Lib Dems
  • Rob Sherratt for the Brexit Party

You can find their contact details by entering a Preston postcode here.

Up until December the 12th, Climate Action Preston will be in touch with all five candidates, demanding to know what they intend to do about climate change if they are elected.

Preston is a “safe Labour seat”, meaning that based on the last general election in 2017, it’s fairly easy to predict that Labour will win the vote in this constituency. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bother to engage with local politics. Whoever is elected is going to represent us, the people of Preston, whenever they vote in Parliament. We want them all to know that we expect to see climate change at the top of their political agendas.

Climate Action Preston will be doing this in a number of ways:

  1. We’re currently in the process of organising a climate change hustings. I’ll share the details as soon as they’re confirmed. I’ll be looking for questions to be submitted by the public in advance.
  2. We’ll be asking each candidate to sign up to Friends of the Earth’s climate change pledge. You can use your social media power to do the same. Keep an eye on our twitter account if you want to see exactly what we mean.
  3. In this blog I’ll be exploring each political party’s manifesto to investigate their policies relating to climate change. You can subscribe to be kept up to date with the latest posts.

At the time of writing, only the Green Party have released a manifesto, so I’m starting with them.

Their foreword states:

Above all, the climate and environmental emergency rages from the Amazon to the Arctic. The science is clear – the next ten years are probably the most important in our history.

Then the first section of their executive summary:

To tackle the Climate Emergency, and deliver social justice, we propose:

The Green New Deal

The Green New Deal will invest in our shared future, funding improvements in:

Energy: including the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy.

Housing: including the provision of better insulation for all homes that need it, the delivery of major heating upgrades for 1 million homes a year and the creation of 100,000 new energy efficient council homes a year.

Transport: including the delivery of a public and sustainable transport revolution, which will allow people to travel cheaply and safely on new trains, buses, cycleways and footpaths.

Industry: including support for businesses to decarbonise and the provision of training to give people skills to access millions of new green jobs.

Food, Farming & Forestry: including the planting of 700 million trees and support for healthy and sustainable food and farming systems.

Incomes: including the creation of a Universal Basic Income, paid to all UK residents to tackle poverty and give financial security to everyone.

New green homes, new green transport and new green jobs will get us on track to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 and provide new opportunities for everyone to live happier and more secure lives. This will be a combined investment of over £100 billion a year in the Green New Deal, with an additional investment in Universal Basic Income.

The manifesto then goes on to use 20 pages (not including pages of images) to break down exactly what they would do for each of these points.

I would like to point out that the manifest is 92 pages long in total – climate policies are only a part of the party’s plans, but they feature heavily and have priority.

profile photo of Michael Welton
Michael Welton: The Green Party candidate for Preston

So what would a vote for the Green Party look like in Preston? Well it would almost certainly not result in a Green MP for Preston, because as I mentioned above, we’re a “safe Labour seat”. But votes for other parties are still counted up and added to local and national statistics. A vote for a party like the Greens send a message to whoever does become our MP that there are people in Preston who care about Green Party policy, which includes a lot on climate change.

Please Note

Climate Action Preston is an apolitical group. We don’t favour any one political party over another. That’s why I’ll be looking in the same way at all the available manifestos of the parties represented by Preston candidates over the next couple of weeks. I’m not going to tell you how to vote because that has to be an individual decision, but please consider the climate when you do vote. That could mean deciding on your candidate, and then emailing/tweeting them to say something like this:

“I think I want to vote for you on the 12th December, but first I want to know what you intend to do about climate change if you are elected to represent me.”

If you do tweet, we’d love to be tagged: @PrestonAction #PrestonClimateElection