More than 100,000 people have signed a petition by Greenpeace UK calling for leaders of all political parties to take part in a national televised debate on the climate and nature emergencies in the run up to next month’s general election .
The campaign for a televised climate debate – which is being led by the climate charity, Possible, with the support of a wide range of charities and NGOs  – has already received the backing of Labour, the Scottish National Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green party . The strong public support demonstrated by the number of signatories to the petition will heap pressure on the Conservative party, which has not yet responded to requests for a debate on the issue, to take part.
According to the results of a public poll conducted last month, a majority of Britons say that climate change will affect how they will vote in the upcoming election and almost two-thirds of people agreed the climate emergency is the biggest issue facing humankind .
With the recent flooding that has devastated communities across the north of England, Greenpeace says that it is imperative that all parties’ environmental policies and plans for tackling the climate and nature emergencies are put under the spotlight.
Rebecca Newsom, head of politics at Greenpeace UK, said:
“Politically, we are in unprecedented times. But Brexit or no Brexit, the environmental crises that we currently face are the most pressing issues of our time. Voters are aware of this and it’s clearly going to influence how they cast their ballot. This is why all party leaders must showcase their policies for tackling the climate and nature emergencies to the public, and allow them to be scrutinised, by taking part in a climate and environment TV debate.
“The next government will shape how the UK responds to these challenges, how quickly and effectively we move away from fossil fuels, electrify our transport systems and insulate our buildings. We need a government that is committed to protecting and restore our oceans and forests, transforming how we produce our food and boost new clean jobs, with support for workers and communities to benefit from the transition ahead. This election could be make or break for the environment and climate.”