EU Elections Manifestos

With the EU Elections looming, The Wildlife Trusts have put together a brief summary of the political party manifestos that have been released so far (Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Greens). The Conservatives and the Brexit Party currently have no plans to produce manifestos for this election.

Labour Party Manifesto

Labour’s manifesto proposes no new measures for the protection on wildlife and biodiversity, although they do highlight Labour’s record on promoting “the very first EU habitats laws, ensuring the maintenance of biodiversity and measures to protect wildlife”. There is also no mention of CAP or the CFP. They do say that they have the ambition to “lead a green industrial revolution on our continent” with the aim of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. They also propose to introduce a new Clean Air Act in the UK to create a network of clean air zones.

 

Natural Environment:

  • Safeguard habitats and species in the ‘blue belts’ of the seas and oceans

 

Pollution:

  • Set targets for reducing the use of plastics and work with food manufacturers and retailers to reduce waste
  • Introduce a new clean air act, creating a network of clean air zones at home and working towards an ambitious clean transport strategy across the EU to tackle air pollution

 

Energy and Climate Change:

  • Lead a “green industrial revolution” with the aim of making Europe the first zero carbon continent in the world
  • Demand that the EU follows the pledge of the next UK Labour government, to commit to 60% of the UK’s energy supply from renewable or low-carbon sources by 2030, and net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest
  • Continue to support a clear commitment to the Paris climate agreement
  • Ban fracking

 

 

Liberal Democrat Party Manifesto

The Lib Dem manifesto focuses on EU diplomacy and working through the EU to influence international climate change negotiations and to jointly set high environmental standards. They are calling for a zero-carbon EU by 2050 and to “lead negotiations on a Paris-style agreement to save global biodiversity for future generations and ensure better protection for wildlife, habitats and the countryside”.

 

Natural Environment:

  • Lead negotiations on a Paris-style agreement to save global biodiversity for future generations and ensure better protection for wildlife, habitats and the countryside
  • Support greater efforts by the EU to tackle illegal and unsustainable trade in timber, wildlife, ivory, and fish
  • Establish an EU-wide action plan on deforestation

 

Pollution:

  • A new binding international treaty to reduce the use of plastics and more ambitious targets for reducing waste and increasing the reuse and recycling of natural resources
  • Introduce a general duty of care for the environment for companies and public-sector agencies

 

CAP:

  • EU agricultural subsidies should be further improved to help meet sustainability goals and maintain income support for farmers who need it
  • Substantially reform and rethink agricultural subsidies to ensure the CAP rewards farmers for reducing greenhouse gas emissions towards net zero levels and farming sustainably
  • Support should also be targeted to combat challenges such as antimicrobial resistance, food security, and animal welfare standards, and promote alternative and environmentally friendly agricultural methods

 

CFP:

  • Defend and maintain Britain’s fishing industry by not allowing fishing rights to be traded away against other policy areas, and work with the industry and other stakeholders to develop a national plan for sustainable fisheries
  • Work to improve the CFP to ensure that it delivers the necessary economic and environmental objectives.

 

Energy and Climate Change:

  • Net zero to be achieved by 2045, contributing to a zero-carbon EU by 2050
  • Support the development of carbon capture and storage for industrial processes, ‘negative emissions’ technologies and strategies, including ‘natural climate solutions’ such as forestry, and greater resilience for infrastructure and housing against the impacts of climate change such as flooding
  • Use the EU-wide Energy Union to encourage more trade in green energy and greater investment in electricity interconnectors
  • Extend the EU Emissions Trading System to aviation
  • Promote higher EU standards of and greater investment in energy efficiency
  • Campaign for an EU-wide ban on fracking
  • Use EU funding to drive innovation in zero-emission and autonomous vehicles and infrastructure such as charging points.

 

 

Green Party Manifesto

The Green Party manifesto is notably light on biodiversity and nature, instead calling for a “renewables revolution” and a “Green New Deal” to transition to a carbon-neutral circular economy. They do emphasise the need to reform CAP subsidies to ensure they support biodiversity, but also say they must support farmers for food production.

 

Natural Environment:

  • End EU financing that impacts negatively on the environment or on wildlife
  • Expand marine protected areas until they cover 20% of our seas

 

Pollution:

  • Ban non-recyclable plastics, create a supportive environment for the development of sustainable alternatives and increase recycling targets
  • Ensure that glyphosate is banned across the EU and continue the battle for transparency in the licensing of pesticides and reductions in their use

 

CAP:

  • Reform CAP subsidies so they are paid to primarily support environmental & social benefit and not simply land ownership

 

CFP:

  • Reform fisheries policy, with the aim of allowing English regions and Wales to draw up their own management plans, with input by local inshore fishing fleets. Fishing quotas will then be based on these plans

 

Energy and Climate Change:

  • An EU-wide “Green New Deal” to accelerate the sustainability transition
  • Bring forward the “principles, process and practice” for the EU to be Carbon Neutral by 2030 which includes phasing out of all fossil fuels, promoting energy efficiency and a move to 100% renewables
  • Make subsidies to fossil fuels illegal
  • Introduce an EU-wide frequent flyer levy and removing the tax advantages for the aviation industry