12 policies to save the climate and our planet

Posted by John Sauven — 11 October 2009 at 4:21pm - Comments

With parliament coming back, a general election looming and the Copenhagen climate summit just weeks away, this is the time for rhetoric to stop and action to start. That’s why we’ve written this manifesto. The policies show that we can protect the environment while also protecting our economy. We want all politicans to steal our policies.

By using the big economic levers we can have sustainable recovery, create green jobs and cut emissions. But for this to happen politicans need to set aside short term party politics and work together to tackle the really important issues. And frankly, if any political party doesn’t adopt these policies, we should be asking them why not?

Zero carbon. Guarantee that emissions from the UK power sector will be near zero by 2030, as recommended by the UK government's Committee on Climate Change.

Cut coal. Immediately rule out all emissions from new coal-fired power stations, preventing any new unabated or partially abated coal plants.

Cut emissions 42% by 2020. Commit Britain to meeting the bolder emissions target recommended by the Committee on Climate Change.

Insulate Britain. Drastically cut energy wastage by retrofitting all existing buildings and ensuring all new buildings meet zero-emission standards.

Fair financing. Commit to help pay for low carbon development in developing countries, to stop deforestation and to protect the world’s poorest people from the impacts of climate change.

Repower Britain. Commit to ensuring that at least 15% of the UK’s total energy (including heat, electricity and transport) comes from renewables by 2020.

Rewire Britain. Ensure that the electricity grid is upgraded to harness wind power and build smart local grids to improve communities’ ability to generate their own clean energy.

Curb aviation. Stop all airport expansion, including Heathrow’s proposed third runway.

Invest in Britain. Properly fund reseach and development, develop new training programmes and support the manufacturing supply chain to help Britain compete in the global low carbon economy.

Bank on green. Set up a green infrastructure bank that would lend to major low carbon projects and harness the expertise of the financial sector.

Issue green bonds. Give investors and savers a secure new way to help fund green projects through government backed bonds.

Reform taxation. Refocus taxation onto pollution so that it can support new green industries and drive down emissions while strengthening the UK’s finances

The International Energy Agency and leading economists agree that failure to act now will lead to economic as well as environmental disaster. However, if Britain’s political parties can work together to put these policies into practice, they can make Britain competitive in a low carbon world and, most importantly, enable us to play our part in stopping climate change.

Follow Greenpeace UK