​Which way to vote to stay squeaky green?

Marion Cotillard (photo: Getty Images)Marion Cotillard (photo: Getty Images)
Marion Cotillard (photo: Getty Images)
​​I want to vote on July 4th with the environment in mind but am struggling to find information about the three major parties green pledges.

The individual manifestos are yet to be released for Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. VoteClimate: Maximise Your Vote To Save The Planet is planning to summarise information when the manifestos are released though, so what do we know at the moment?

Labour has released a “first steps for change” plan and one of the six steps is their pledge to set up Great British Energy.

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GB Energy would be a new publicly owned initiative to improve energy security at a critical time.

Which way should I vote to stay green? (photo: Adobe)Which way should I vote to stay green? (photo: Adobe)
Which way should I vote to stay green? (photo: Adobe)

It aims to reduce energy bills for families, back British workers in industrial heartlands, put profits back into British people and support local jobs and supply chains.

The website highlights the proposed benefits of GB Energy in your local area too from homes insulated to job creation. Labour has also pledged a commitment to a net zero test on government spending.

Labour’s not alone though, each of the main three parties have pledged to cut climate emissions.

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The Liberal Democrats have pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2045 but are yet to flesh out exactly how they’ll deliver it.

Use down time to mend clothes (photo: Adobe)Use down time to mend clothes (photo: Adobe)
Use down time to mend clothes (photo: Adobe)

They’ve all pledged to do something about the UKs heat leaking homes too with the Conservatives promising £2 billion for building retrofitting in the next parliament however, they also recently rejected planned regulations to improve standards in the private rental sector.

Labour’s manifesto will have to spell out the policy mechanisms and spending it’ll commit to and explain issues like the minimum standards for the rental sector.

The Lib Dems have promised a big insulation drive, a social energy tariff for the most vulnerable and better standards, so their manifesto, like all the parties will need to show the details of their funding pledges to make these three things happen.

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When it comes to green, clean, homegrown energy, the Tories have committed to decarbonising the electricity grid by 2035 but they haven’t yet overturned their virtual ban on onshore wind farms.

Labour’s “clean power by 2030 policy” alongside its plan to form GB Energy, is the core of their climate platform for the election.

The Lib Dems have set a target for 80 percent of the electricity in the UK to come from renewables by 2030. Their manifesto should have details of their plan for stopping new oil and gas licences too.

Each of the big three have also got plans to reduce carbon emissions from transport, look after nature, the environment and UK waterways and seas but I’d encourage everyone to listen to the live debates and read the party manifestos when available as not all politicians are the same.

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Both voters and campaigners want the green agenda to be more front and centre this election.

Celebrity spot

​Actress Marion Cottilard (photo: Getty Images) has spoken about the difficulties of maintaining her busy filming and premieres schedule while at the same time keeping the environment and planet in mind.

The 48 year-old Inception actress said: “It's a paradox to be an actress, living in the city, taking planes all the time, trying to find the right balance in this life, which is not so eco-friendly, and still try to respect the environment.”

Green swap

​Swap binge watching for binge fixing. If you find yourself half watching TV while scrolling on your phone, use the time to mend clothes (photo: Adobe) or bags to avoid waste. Use down TV time to multitask and repair and make good.

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Emergency supply kit urged by Tory deputy PM

Oliver Dowden made headlines recently when he talked about the UK public preparing itself better for unseen crisis, ironically the day the surprise election was announced.

The deputy Prime minister called on households across the UK to develop their own emergency supply kit

He wants the UK to build its ‘national resilience’ for everything from floods to droughts to another pandemic, telling a press conference: “There are currently around 100 risks on the Government’s risk register, ranging from cyber attacks to solar flares.”

Research into just how prepared the UK public is for a national emergency found just 15 per cent of people have an emergency supply kit in their homes and more than 40 per cent of people don’t have three days’ supplies of non-perishable food and water in their cupboards.

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This isn’t about Domesday doom mongering though – in fact the UK is behind some European countries who encourage their citizens to have plans in place.

In Finland they have a ’72 hours campaign’. The three day initiative encourages citizens to be self-sufficient in the first three days of any crisis that befalls the country. The Fins also have an annual ‘National Preparedness Day’.

So, what should we have in our cupboards to help? Firstly, think about how much space you have – it will be difficult to stockpile enough pasta for a small Italian village if you have a galley style kitchen. However, as the food is sealed you can use unusual places to store food. I use the space on top of the cupboards for the things I might need in an emergency.

Next think about what essentials you want in a pack; bottled water, , portable chargers that are fully charged, batteries, head torches, a first aid kit, baby and pet supplies if needed, a wind up radio, candles etc..

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In terms of food think high calorie; pasta, tins like tuna, baked beans, custard – anything you can eat cold or add water to.

Compile a list of what you think you’ll use and then see in a normal week how much you actually consume. Also make sure little (or big children) don’t find the stash and help themselves.

Priority Services Register is easy to sign up to with someone poorly or vulnerable in your family. It’s a free UK wide service that registers your address with electricity, gas and water companies – in the event services get cut off, you go to the top of the list to be reconnected when possible. One thing the government was quick to say though, is that this isn’t about making people scared, simply about being prepared. The London Climate Resilience Review has suggested the capital undertake a multi agency, cross government exercise to identify vulnerabilities to things like subsidence, wildfires and flooding this summer.

Fact or fiction

The ​UKs net zero economy grew five percent in 2023.


It grew a massive nine percent and analysis shows election battleground seats are around three times more likely to be net zero economic hot spots.