Campaigners hail Green Party manifesto for ‘grasping reality’ of climate crisis

The Green Party has “grasped the reality” of the climate crisis, environmental groups have said as many welcomed its new manifesto.

The party pledged to stop all new fossil fuel projects, tax the wealthy and “mend broken Britain” as it launched its manifesto in Hove, East Sussex, on Wednesday.

According to the document, elected Green MPs will push for measures that restore the UK’s depleted nature, increase the energy efficiency of homes and spend £50 billion per year on health and social care by 2030.

Environmental groups praised the party for its “honesty” around the scale of changes needed to tackle the climate crisis as well as its proposals to tax the rich.

As the country prepares to go to the polls on July 4, many believe climate and nature have been sidelined during the campaign, with the economy, national security, immigration and the NHS dominating debates.

Mike Childs, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, said: “The Green Party is so far the only political party that has grasped the reality that unless we properly invest in reducing carbon emissions from our homes, industries, farming and transport, it will be impossible to avoid the huge financial and human costs of the climate crisis in the future.

“By taxing the wealthiest in society and introducing carbon taxes on polluting companies, the Greens aim to benefit the poorest in society through fixing the UK’s damp, heat-leaking homes, improving our public transport system and enabling farmers to earn a decent living from green farming, as well as properly funding essential services such as the NHS.

“Honesty is essential to regaining trust in politics, so hats off to the Green Party for having the honesty to say that we can’t fix our broken energy system, ailing public services and protect our planet without spending much more money.”

Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK policy director, said the manifesto “clearly recognises” that there is no long-term prosperity or security for anyone without tackling the climate and nature crisis.

“Both the Green Party and the Lib Dems have now drawn a clear line in the sand between them and the Labour Party on the common sense notion that the very richest people should pay more to fix our crumbling country,” he said.

“Not only do the super-rich have the broadest shoulders, but they are also responsible for the most climate damage. It’s only right that they pay more towards upgrading our homes, infrastructure and public services.”

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned the party’s manifesto proposals will come with a “real economic cost” and increase disincentives to work.

Its deputy director, Helen Miller, described some plans – such as closing loopholes within inheritance tax – as “sensible” but added: “While a recurrent wealth tax could raise revenue, it would be tough to implement”.

“It is clear where the Green Party’s ambitions lie – a much bigger role for the state, better-funded public services and, of course, a swifter transition to net zero,” she said.

“It is unlikely that the specific tax-raising measures they propose to help achieve all this would raise the sorts of sums they claim – and certainly not without real economic cost.”

Elsewhere, Max Wakefield, co-director of climate charity Possible, joined the praise for the Green Party, saying: “It’s great to see a manifesto which acknowledges that we need to be going further and faster on climate, containing a huge raft of policies designed to cut the cost of living while cutting carbon.

“What this manifesto really gets right is recognising that climate cuts across all areas of our society and our economy, and you can see this embedded in policy from housing, to the economy, to transport, rather than boxed off in its own chapter with vague targets and ambitions.”

Louise Hutchins, head of policy at the UK Green Building Council, said: “So far, this election hasn’t been a ‘climate election’ despite the dire warnings from scientists.

“This manifesto is a useful contribution to driving the issue up the agenda given the next government will be the last capable of bringing in the game-changing policies needed.”