Comment

Summary of general election climate policy headlines

Posted in: Comment
Date posted: 5 May 2015

A summary of each party’s manifesto statements on climate and energy policy is provided below, drawing upon a briefing produced by Quaker Peace and Social Witness ‘Reflections on the general election manifestos’. This summary draws out interesting headlines rather than being a full analysis of the policy implications of the manifesto statements and it does not compare like with like.

Conservatives

  • Support fracking, with ‘community benefit’ packages to local communities.
  • Support the development of North Sea oil and gas, including tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry.
  • Oppose the spread of onshore wind-farms, and support an end to public subsidy of them.
  • Commit to insulating a million homes over the next five years.
  • Continue to support the Climate Change Act, although their focus on economic growth does not mention the quality or carbon-intensity of that growth.
  • Oppose a decarbonisation target for the energy sector.

Greens

  • Call for strengthening of the Climate Change Act and a decarbonisation target for the energy sector of 25-50g CO2/kWh by 2030.
  • Support the phasing out of fossil fuel energy generation, including closure of all coal fired power stations by 2023, and challenge tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry.
  • Encourage institutions and councils to divest from fossil fuels.
  • Call for a moratorium on fracking, and a ban on unconventional fossil fuel extraction, including open cast coal.
  • Commit £35 billion investment in renewable generation and the national grid, including maximising opportunity for community or municipally owned energy.
  • Support stronger regulation of power companies to reduce fuel poverty, and an end to prepayment energy meters (that charge more per unit of energy).
  • Call for a free nationwide retrofitting programme, targeted at those in fuel poverty, and a target for reducing energy demand by one third by 2020 and half by 2030. This includes a levy on carbon taxes to fund investment in energy efficiency measures.
  • Demonstrate strong support for an international climate agreement based on contraction and convergence.

Labour

  • Call for an industrial strategy for a green economy but also commit to safeguard the future of offshore oil and gas and support fracking, with appropriate regulation.
  • State their intention to remove carbon from electricity supply by 2030, although do not include a decarbonisation target for the energy sector.
  • Commit to create a million new green jobs and provide a million interest-free loans for home energy improvement.
  • Call for a freeze on energy bills until 2017 and support more regulation of power companies, including an energy watchdog to tackle fuel poverty.
  • Commit to an ‘ambitious’ and equitable international climate agreement in Paris 2015.

Liberal Democrats

  • Support a ‘Zero Carbon Britain Act’ which sets a new legally binding target for bringing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 and support a decarbonisation target for the energy sector of 50-100g CO2/kWh by 2030.
  • Support fracking, using 50% tax revenues to fund energy efficiency, community energy, low-carbon innovation and renewable heat.
  • Encourage onshore wind-farm development and call for the end of the use of unabated coal by 2025.
  • Support more regulation of power companies and an end to prepayment energy meters.
  • Commit to increasing jobs in the low carbon sector and stimulation of £100 billion private investment in low carbon energy infrastructure by 2020.
  • Pledge to work to secure an international climate deal.

Plaid Cymru

  • Encourage adoption of a Climate Change Act for Wales.
  • Support a moratorium on fracking and a ban on unconventional fossil fuel extraction, including open cast coal.
  • Commit to increase jobs in the low-carbon sector and expand community energy.

SNP

  • Call on the UK to adopt the same – more ambitious – carbon reduction targets as Scotland.
  • Support the development of North Sea oil and gas, including tax breaks.
  • Call for a moratorium on fracking and support for offshore wind.

UKIP

  • Support the expansion of the coal industry, including deep, opencast and drift mining.
  • Support fracking, with ring-fenced levy on profits for older people’s care and reduction in council taxes.
  • Call for a withdrawal of subsidies for new wind and solar and are resistant to supporting renewable energy.
  • Call for the repeal of the Climate Change Act and abolition of DECC.
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