THE CLIMATE CRISIS: Comparing political manifestos

Concerned about the climate crisis? Want a government who takes it as seriously as you? Find out who you’re voting for on Thursday pledges to protect our planet in this short summary by our Environmental Editor @megcmcg …

Forget the narrative of the “Brexit election” the Tories are peddling, this election has to be a climate one if we have any hope of tackling our emissions.

The Committee on Climate Change says the UK is unprepared for the impacts of climate change. So who’s taxing the big polluters, cleaning the air we breathe and funding renewables?

(in alphabetical order…)


There is no official environment section of the Brexit Party manifesto, not exactly surprising from a party with multiple climate deniers standing as candidates. Regardless, here’s what they pledge to do:

  • Recycle all waste within the UK and make it illegal to export overseas
  • Plant tens of millions of trees (note the lack of target or deadline…)


The Conservatives include a zero carbon by 2050 goal in their manifesto, though with their persistent missing of pretty much all the (very unambitious) targets they’ve set themselves so far, this doesn’t even look likely. They’re also looking to develop the shale gas industry, rather than the renewable energy sector. 

  • Plant 30m trees a year
  • Aims for almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050
  • Post Brexit we will continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of the parliament
  • Invest in more low-emission buses
  • Protect seas with 500m Blue Planet Fund


The Labour Party were recently ranked highest by Friends of the Earth in their climate policies and are pledging to create a “green industrial revolution”. 

The statistics:

  • 90% of electricity and 50% of heat renewable by 2030;
  • Upgrade 27m homes to top energy efficiency; 
  • 9,000 new wind turbines and 44,000 acres of solar coverage and trial tidal power
  • Tax on big polluters to create a “Just Transition Fund”
  • Frequent flyer levy on the 15% of people who take 70% of flights
  • Plant 100m trees a year
  • Create 1 million jobs in low-carbon industries 
  • Phase out diesel and petrol cars by 2030
  • Create 10 new national nature parks

The Liberal Democrats

The Lib Dems have a varied but less ambitious environmental manifesto than other parties. Here’s what they’re pledging:

  • Plant 60m trees a year
  • End opencast coal mining and ban fracking
  • 70% target for waste recycling
  • £12bn a year to support renewable energy
  • Diesel scrappage scheme, and a ban on the sale of diesel cars and small vans in the UK by 2025

The Green Party

The Green Party have seen the other main parties increasingly focus on their environmental policies in this election.

Here’s what they’re pledging this election:

  • Reduce emissions by 80% by 2030
  • Scrap plans for airport expansion at Heathrow and across the country.
  • Make more homes energy efficient
  • Bring energy grid into public ownership 
  • Scheme to support renewables
  • Insulate every home by 
  • End of sales of new internal-combustion engine vehicles by 2030

Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government is significantly ahead of the Conservative-led British government in terms of its response to climate change. Find out what they’re pledging this time round:

  • Ring fence tax receipts from North Sea oil and gas for a net-zero fund
  • Plant 60m trees a year
  • Net zero of all emissions by 2045 and net zero carbon 2040
  • All new homes to use renewable or low carbon heat from 2024
  • Set maximum limits for consumption of red processed meat in schools
  • Phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans across Scotland by 2032

This Thursday, please look into who will be best to kick the Tories out in your seat. A Tory majority will scupper all chances of an adequate response to the climate crisis and entrench unavoidable and irreversible global heating into our planet’s future. 

Find out more:

By Meg McGrath, Environmental Editor