The Green Party manifesto for the upcoming election was published today. Because they are the Green Party, it contains many of the themes you might expect and few surprises, but also some quite bold ideas that have the potential to deliver a green economy and a £40bn investment plan per year to do this. IEMA's Policy and Engagement Lead on biodiversity and natural capital, Lesley Wilson discusses.

On housing, the Green Party will require all new developments to be accompanied by investment in local transport. Ambitiously, they will also aim to ensure that all new homes meet Passivhaus or equivalent standards and would like to see solar panels and heat pumps in all new homes where appropriate.

The Green Party will push for local-authority led, ‘street-by-street retrofit’ to insulate homes with a commitment to invest £29bn over 5 years to insulate to an EPC B rating or above over 10 years.

On energy, the Green Party is proposing to create 70% of the UK’s electricity by wind by 2030, and deliver 80GW of offshore wind, 53GW of onshore wind, and 100GW of solar by 2035. To achieve this, they also aim to invest in energy storge capacity and more efficient electricity distribution.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, they also aim to remove all oil and gas subsidies and introduce a carbon tax on all fossil fuel imports and domestic extractions. They will also phase out nuclear energy.

In terms of the environment, like the Lib Dems and the Conservatives before them, the Green Party have their own plan to tackle the issue of sewage in water bodies and take ownership of water back into public hands. Another standout bold plan is to introduce a new Rights of Nature Act to give rights to nature as an entity.

It’s good to see the Green Party following the UN Global Biodiversity Framework commitments, by setting aside 30% of land and sea by 2030 to give nature the ‘highest priority and protection’ – a key IEMA ask of the next government.

Other nature-related requirements would include greater access to green space, an end to the use of bee-killing pesticides and a new Clean Air Act, plus a new Commission on Animal Protection.

In agriculture, the Green Party propose to end factory farming and close confinement in cages and deliberate mutilation of farm animals. Financial support for farmers would be tripled to support nature-friendly farming with payments linked to reduced use of pesticides and agro-chemicals.

Investment in public transport is also a priority, with plans to bring railways back into public ownership, and support for new cycleways and footpaths. Again, another bold plan – to ban domestic flights for journeys that would take less than three hours by train and halt expansion of airport capacity.

To deliver these promises, the Green Party will also need to invest in skills and training and they will deliver this through an investment of £12.4bn. This speaks to IEMA’s own policy asks on the investment and delivery plan needed to create a workforce for the green economy of the future.

So, as you would expect, the Green Party manifesto has a strong environmental focus. There’s lots of ambition and plans but also opportunities for those working in the environmental sector.

Surprisingly the manifesto does not touch on the role of circular economy in the transition to net zero which seems a missed opportunity and again something that IEMA has prioritised in our calls for a national circular strategy.

Please do take a look back at our blogs on the Conservative and Lib Dem manifestos here and look out for our analysis of other party manifestos as they land.

Photo of Lesley
Lesley Wilson

Policy and Engagement Lead

Lesley is Policy and Engagement Lead at IEMA with a focus on biodiversity and natural capital. Lesley also supports IEMA’s role as Secretariat to the UK Business and Biodiversity Forum, working with businesses to raise the profile of, mainstream, and share good practice in, biodiversity. Lesley joined IEMA in December 2021 after 11 years delivering projects, programmes and solutions for business in the field of environmental sustainability for the British Standards Institution (BSI), including ground breaking standards in biodiversity net gain and natural capital. Lesley has a qualification in business management (MBA) and climate change management, and mentors environmental students at the University of Westminster.


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