The May General Election 2015 – Where do parties stand on Energy & the Environment?

The UN climate change talks will be taking place in Paris, December 2015. The conference in October 2014 saw pledges being made by the UK to reduce carbon emissions to 40% by 2030. The 3 main political leaders all agreed to work together towards this, whatever the results of the election. All parties, however, have different policies and approaches and so the election will decide who represents the UK in December. Not only does this make the decision important, but there are many pressing environmental and energy issues which the electorate will take into consideration.

Please note: Policies below were taken from the party manifestos.

Conservative

Main points:

– Protect the environment and Green Belt (policy for controlling urban growth) in the planning system
– Spend more than £3bn by 2020 improving the environment
– Phase out subsidies for new onshore wind farms
– Invest £500m over the next 5 years towards making most cars & vans zero emission vehicles by 2050

Additional: “Going all out” for shale gas, with the belief it could create jobs and reduce reliance on imported gas.

Labour

Main points:

Freeze energy bills until 2017 and give energy regulator new powers to cut bills this winter
– Reduce carbon emissions generated during electricity production to zero by 2030
– Prioritise flood prevention

Additional: Create a million additional green jobs over the next decade

Liberal Democrats

Main points:

– Double renewable electricity by 2020, aim to decarbonise the power sector by 2030, leading to a zero carbon Britain by 2050
– Plant 750,000 trees a year
– Charge for plastic bags
– Promote use of electric cars and public transport

Additional: The introduction of five new green laws, including a Nature Bill to protect wildlife & green spaces

Green Party

Main points:

– Phase out fossil fuel-based energy generation and nuclear power
– Reduce all UK greenhouse gas emissions to 10% of their 1990 levels by 2030 to tackle climate change
– Invest in renewable energy sources, flood defences and building insulation
– Total ban on fracking

Additional: Strengthen the Climate Change Act & create a zero-carbon economy by 2050.

UKIP

Main points:

– Repeal the Climate Change Act 2008
– Protect the greenbelt
– Abolish “green taxes” and charges to cut fuel bills
– Prioritise support for organic farms

 

What IU ENERGY CEO, Duncan Banks, says about the situation:

“  One thing I would like to have seen discussed more is investment into the grid infrastructure. Although there are many important topics being debated, especially around renewables, if the grid cannot support the influx of energy from this renewable source, we are missing a huge opportunity. What I would like to see more of is talks about the operational details of the grid capacity, so to make the most of the current renewable activity and incentives. I would also like to see an increase in commercial renewables, e.g. solar panels on commercial buildings, so that businesses can use this to directly reduce their operational costs.  Investment in renewables need to be matched by investment in the infrastructure so that we achieve maximum efficiency and sustainability.  ”

 

For more information on how you can reduce your carbon footprint, become a more sustainable business and save money on your energy, please email management@iuenergy.co.uk or call 01752 262626.

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 Please note: This article is intended to be unbiased.