With the upcoming election vastly approaching the political parties are introducing new policies and pledges to win the public votes. In the past few elections the political parties such as: Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Green Party etc. focused on taxes to get the public’s attention and votes. However, this time around with the upcoming election approaching all of the political parties have made many policies and pledges based heavily on combating climate change by using renewable means. This is due to the urgency and care that our planet desperately requires. In this upcoming election all of the political parties have one particular view in common which is that the environment needs radical action fast.
Energy use in buildings account for 56% of the UK’s total emissions, making it the single most polluting factor. This indicates that this is where we need to make some serious changes such as installing renewable energy into both residential and commercial buildings such as: Solar Panels, Infra-red Heating, Thermo dynamics, Air-source Heat Pumps etc.
Climate change is happening right in front of us. Large parts of Britain flooded only a few weeks ago and this is only the beginning. In fact, Teesside where we Trade Solar Direct are based, has been estimated that it will be under water by 2050. Surprisingly and sooner than expected, the effects of climate change come very close to home for everyone. From the flooding in Britain, to the Forest fires in America, to the increased temperature in Australia expected to cause large scale tropical cyclones. Everybody is at risk so everybody needs to take action.
This is where the political parties come into it. Let’s begin with Labour whom has shown to be very passionate about combating climate change by aiming to make all of our homes and cities a greener, cleaner and happier place to live. The Labour Green New Deal aims to achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reduction by 2030 and aims to be net zero carbon emissions by the 2030s.
Summary of actions Labour are going to take to combat climate change:
• Jeremy Corbyn has proposed that they will launch a National Transformation Fund of £400 billion and rewrite the Treasury’s investment rules to guarantee that every penny spent is compatible with their climate and environmental targets.
• Labour understands the importance of the part that renewable energy plays in becoming net-zero. This is shown by £250 billion directly going to fund the transition through a Green Transformation Fund which is dedicated to renewable and low-carbon energy and transport/biodiversity and environmental restoration.
• Deliver nearly 90% of electricity and 50% of heat from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2030.
• Build 9,000 new wind turbines.
• Labour pledges to install enough solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches.
• Introduce a £11 billion windfall tax on oil and gas companies so that the companies that knowingly damage our climate will help to cover the cost in repairing it. Although they are also providing a strategy to safeguard people and jobs involved in this industry.
• The Labour party has promised to create 1 million green jobs in a bid to tackle the climate crisis.
“The country led the world in innovation during the Industrial Revolution, and now we must lead the world to a cleaner, greener form of growth.” ~ Theresa May.
The Conservative Party are another political party that are showing to be very passionate about climate change with this they are aiming to reach net-zero by 2050. Here are some of the key points that this party has outlined in order to reach their goals:
• Spend £9.2 billion to improve the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals.
• Investments into clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions.
• Proposed improved energy efficiency for homes, although in this case less than the other political parties have.
• Huge investments into offshore wind turbines.
• Net-zero put in law through a statutory instrument amending the Climate Change Act 2008.
• Created 400,000 jobs in the low carbon economy and it aims to create 2 million by 2030.
The Liberal Democrats aim to significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve to be net-zero by 2045. This particular party has outlined many ways in which they are going to achieve this:
• Spend £100 billion on climate change, by spending £20 billion a year for five years.
• Promised an emergency 10-year programme to reduce energy consumption from all buildings.
• Cut the number of cars on the road and plan to spend 10% of the transport budget on walking and cycling.
• Stop the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2030 so that eventually all cars will be electric.
• Generate 80% of electricity from renewables by 2030 and they are going to do this by doubling the solar energy and wind energy capacity.
• Establish a new department against the climate crisis.
The Green Party has shown to have the most radical plan on combating climate change compared to the other parties. Their plan includes becoming net-zero by 2030 which would be the quickest of all other parties. This is how they plan to do it:
• Spending £100 billion a year on strategies to combat climate change.
• Keep fossil fuels in the ground by introducing a ban on fracking, phase-out the £6bn-a-year fossil fuel subsidies, bring forward the coal phase-out date to 2023, divest public funds from the fossil fuel industry, and ensure a just transition for those communities dependent on fossil fuel jobs.
• End the reckless gamble with nuclear power, cancelling the contracts for Hinkley Point C (saving £37bn), and scrap plans for all new nuclear power stations, instead investing in renewable energy, a flexible grid, and interconnection to Europe.
• Create a new Green Investment and Innovation Centre with borrowing powers to help create and finance the transition to a zero-carbon economy. This would replace the UK Green Investment Bank – a victim of reckless Conservative ideology – and create a government owned hub for innovation and investment in our low-carbon economy.
• Introducing new support for onshore wind and solar-photovoltaics; scaling up investment in offshore wind and marine renewables; significant investment in vehicle electrification and charging infrastructure; and a comprehensive plan to decarbonise heat, including pilot residential and commercial projects.
Throughout the pledges and policies that have been made by all political parties, it displays the up most importance and urgency that our earth requires to repair the man-made damage and negligence that we are all responsible for. The government and their funding can’t save our planet on their own, it is something that we all need to participate in. Huge advancements in renewable energy technology make the incentives available to almost every homeowner as they are much more cost efficient and cost effective than they were perhaps a decade ago, in fact the prices have fallen by 70% since 2010. There are a large variety of improvements and advancements in the solar industry making them a lot more accessible to a wider range of people.
Return to the homepage to check what renewable energy incentives your home could be eligible for.
BY CAITLIN MACGREGOR