Now that the last round of Party Political Conferences before the 2015 General Election has drawn to a close, it’s a good time to see where everybody stands on Green issues:
Green Parties are seeking to become mainstream political contenders
- Environmental issues were barely mentioned during keynote speeches at the Green Party Conference. Instead, Caroline Lucas (the only-elected MP) concentrated on positioning the Greens as the ‘real opposition’ to the coalition, opening up a potential fight with Labour for the left wing of UK politics.
- Likewise, the Scottish Greens, have come out of the independence referendum buoyant and rejuvenated, and are targeting the Lib Dems – their membership has doubled since the 2010 Election.
However, this ambition seems to be at the expense of specific initiatives
- Other than claims that the Green Party would fight for ‘genuine action to reduce carbon emissions’, there were no specific policies.
Parties are likely to unveil new ‘green promises’ in the run-up to the 2015 General Election
- ‘Vote Blue, Go Green’ was one of Cameron’s last memorable rallying cries, but environmental protection needs to be positioned as complementary to economic growth, not as an obstacle.
- When last in power, Labour previously showed leadership on climate change in the run-up to the Copenhagen Summit, and the creation of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
- The Liberals are losing the claim to be the mainstream ‘Green’ party, so arguably have most to gain – carbon budgets and new post-2020 European renewable targets are likely to figure.
Read more in the Green Alliance report of 2013
Summary of Party Conferences
- Green Party (5-8 Sep, Birmingham)
- Labour (21-24 Sep, Manchester)
- UKIP (26-27 Sep, Doncaster)
- Conservatives (28 Sep-1 Oct, Birmingham)
- Lib Dems (4-8 Oct, Glasgow)
- Scottish Green Party (11-12 Oct, Edinburgh) – 2 MSPs, 4th biggest party in Scotland
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