Harborough Greens have welcomed the party’s new environment manifesto, published yesterday. Darren Woodiwiss, who will be the Green Party’s candidate for Harborough in the general election said, “This is a significant announcement by the Green Party. Tackling climate change, promoting the green economy, and protecting the natural environment, are all essential for creating a sustainable and fairer future.”
The Green Party Environment Manifesto includes plans for:
- A new Environmental Protection Act which to protect natural world in the wake of the EU referendum decision by creating a new environmental regulator and court.
- Ending the monopoly of the Big Six energy companies by building democratic, locally owned alternatives.
- Ending plastic waste by introducing a bottle deposit scheme to stop 16 million plastic bottles ending up in environment every day.
Announcing the manifesto, Caroline Lucas, Green Party co-leader, is said:
“The environment has been wilfully ignored by the political mainstream and our climate and our countryside will pay the price of an environment-free election. With 2016 the hottest year on record, and a climate-denier in the White House, the need for bold and dynamic action on climate change has never been more urgent. The UK must lead the world in building a green economy and investing in a viable future – one that respects and nurtures the natural systems on which we depend. The Greens are the only party to truly recognise the importance of the environment.
“Our economic prosperity depends on the natural world. It is the ultimate source of everything we make and use – from food and materials, to the air we breathe. Even the digital economy depends on rare earth metals and huge amounts of energy. Building a successful economy is not at odds with protecting our environment, it is impossible without it. A prosperous, thriving future will be green – or not at all.”
Taking back control of our energy system is a key policy. The Green Party would:
- End the monopoly of the Big Six by building democratic, locally owned alternatives – reaching at least 42 gigawatts by 2025. We will require grid operators to give priority access to community energy projects, and pioneer a new Community Energy Toolkit to empower local communities to create energy and municipal heating projects in every town and city.
- Democratise energy ownershipby reforming tax-relief for smaller-scale projects, introducing Green ISAs, promoting Green Bonds by allowing tax-free bonds for green projects, and issuing government backed Green Bonds.
- Introduce progressive energy tariffs so that small consumers pay less per unit than large ones, special needs are recognised, people are not cut off when they can’t afford to pay, and nobody is forced to have pre-payment meters.
This would also mean keeping fossil fuels in the ground by banning fracking and phasing out the £6bn a year subsidy given to the fossil fuel industry. To promote jobs in the renewables sector and help the transition from fossil fuels, a new Green Investment and Innovation Centre will be created.
Darren said: “As a voluntary director of a local community energy cooperative I can affirm that the Conservatives have been undermining progress towards a renewable future with the drastic cuts to FiTs, the removal of Renewable Obligations Certificates, applying the Carbon levy to renewables and savage increases to business rates if a company has installed solar panels.
‘In stark contrast, the Green Party offers a sensible, sustainable, and democratic alternative for decarbonised energy generation that would benefit consumers, local communities and the environment.”