Pollution, plants and protests: Where do UK parties stand on Green issues?

Pollution, plants and protests: Where do UK parties stand on Green issues?
By Victoria Smith
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During their campaigns, the political parties have gone big on environmental policies. The Green Party demands zero man-made greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The Labour Party calls for a reduction by then, with the LibDems and SNP aiming fo ra deadline of 2045. The Tories are sticking with 2050.


The UK's political parties are sprucing up their green credentials ahead of tomorrow's general election.

As the United Nations climate conference, COP25, continues in Spain, Britain's voters are examining the environmental friendliness of their own politicians.

Greens are top, so no surprises there

The Green Party makes the biggest promise of all; to cut all of the UK's man-made greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2030.

Labour doesn't go quite as far. They're calling for the majority of emissions to be reduced - but not cut completely - by 2030.

The Liberal Democrats and the SNP are aiming for zero emissions by 2045.

The Conservatives are sticking with 2050 – which is already the legal deadline.

But, in spite of the party lines, has the environment had enough media coverage, in comparison to Brexit and the National Health Service?

Many say not.

The UK's Channel 4 News screened a climate change debate for the party leaders. Neither Boris Johnson nor the Brexit party's Nigel Farage attended, and they were replaced by two sculptures made from melting ice.

But the debate had a tendency to focus on tree-planting, with a row among the leaders present over who was going to plant the most.

Ironically, scientists say none of them are actually promising to plant enough to make the difference required.

So how important are green issues to the UK's voters?

A survey commissioned by the Independent newspaper says voters are more concerned about the environment than at any time in the past.

But climate change still trails in fourth place behind Brexit, health and crime.

More than one in five voters says it is an important issue – with that figure rising for younger voters.

The findings also suggest a spike in the public's interest in green issues during the Extinction Rebellion protests.

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