Questions to ask elections candidates on climate change
The environment is already an important issue in the looming General Election on Thursday December 12.
But what should you ask the candidates, who come knocking at your door seeking your vote, to discover their views on climate change?
“This issue has shot up the political parties’ agendas as voters are becoming increasingly concerned,” said energy expert Ron Fox.
A recent poll by Opinium of more than 2,000 people, commissioned by the environmental campaign group Client Earth, showed that 54 per cent of people said that green matters would influence the way they voted, with this figure rising to 74 per cent among the under 25s.
To help voters Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park, has suggested four questions to ask those doorstep visitors.
- What are you going to do about the climate emergency? The Conservatives point out that the Government has already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent since 2010. In June Theresa May passed legislation making the UK the first big economy to commit to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Labour has promised to achieve this by 2030 and the Lib Dems by 2045. Meanwhile the Green Party wants to spend £100 billion a year tackling climate change to make Britain carbon neutral by 2030. They also want to ban building nuclear power stations and to put a carbon tax on energy and fossil fuel imports increasing over ten years to make coal, gas and oil “unviable.”
- What are your plans for electric cars and public transport? Labour has pledged to phase out sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030; the Conservatives by 2040, though they may bring that forward to 2035. The Conservatives said they would make a £1 billion investment in developing electric cars, whereas Labour’s figure is £3 billion. The Socialists want to encourage people to use public transport more by re-nationalising the railways and introducing free bus travel for the under 25s. The Lib Dems is planning a massive expansion of electric vehicles and better public transport. The Green Party wants to spend £2.5 billion a year on cycleways and footpaths while banning advertising for flights and introducing a frequent flyer levy.
- How are you going to make homes more energy efficient? The Labour Party has said it will spend £60 billion upgrading nearly all the UK’s 27 million homes to the “highest energy efficiency standards feasible” and would replace gas boilers with low-carbon heating systems. The Conservatives want to improve the energy efficiency standards of new homes and to ban gas boilers from those houses by 2025. The Lib Dems have promised to upgrade every house to band B in the energy performance certificate ratings system by 2030. The Green Party wants to improve the energy efficiency of a million homes and buildings a year and building 100,000 zero carbon homes for rent.
- What is your policy on renewable energy? Labour plans to end the Government’s ban on onshore wind farms while all three parties support a big increase in the number of off-shore wind farms. Jeremy Corbyn’s party also wants to install solar panels on a million social and low-income families’ homes and to provide loans and grants for others to do so. Labour and the Lib Dems have promised to invest in tidal power while the Lib Dems have pledged to increase the share of renewable energy to 80 per cent by 2030. The Conservatives has said it will end the burning of coal to produce electricity by 2025.
For more information about environmental matters and green energy call Ron on 0845 474 6641 or go to www.noreus.co.uk