The 6 Ws: a climate and nature checklist for the 2024 general election

How to tell if a politician is serious about climate and nature before you vote for them? Ask them about these six things


A general election is happening on Thursday 4 July, and political parties will soon launch their manifestos, telling voters what they’ll do if they win.

With people struggling to get by and climate disasters already wrecking lives around the world, there’s a lot on the line this year.

The good news is, the solutions to climate change and nature loss are ready to go. Now, more than ever, we just need a government that will deliver them to put the needs of the people and our planet first.

First things first, let’s improve the options on offer on the next ballot paper. Don’t ask, don’t get. We want all parties to feel under pressure to up their game on climate and nature.

The 6 Ws: what to look for in parties’ election promises

The next government will have loads to do, but we’ve narrowed it down to six key areas where it’s absolutely vital to make progress.

None of this is pie-in-the-sky stuff. They’re common-sense, tried-and-tested and popular policies that any climate-ready government should adopt.

So when politicians come knocking, hoping to get your vote, ask to see their plan for these six things. Click on an item to see more details.

Warm homes

  • Fix the UK’s draughty homes.
  • Help poorer households to pay costly energy bills.

Energy bills are still painfully high, and we have the draughtiest homes in western Europe.

It’s not acceptable that in one of the richest countries in the world, millions of people have to choose between eating and heating.

We need to see a nationwide programme to help people insulate their homes and get off volatile gas, as well as pay their bills in the meantime.

Wind power

  • Power the UK with affordable home-grown renewable energy.

Renewable home-grown energy is our cheapest energy source, and the only route to energy security for the UK. But the government is still putting up unfair barriers.

We need the government to triple renewable energy by 2030 by supporting offshore wind at pace with inflation, removing unfair planning barriers for onshore wind, boosting solar on rooftops, and upgrading the electricity grid.


  • Roll-out cheaper and better buses and trains for healthier air.

Currently, our trains are so expensive that to get to some UK destinations flying can be cheaper. Enough is enough.

We need a government that makes public transport cheaper and better for everyone. That means investing in electric trains and buses, as well as walking and cycling infrastructure. Bus travel could – and should – be free for everyone under 25!


  • Stop sewage and chemicals polluting our rivers and seas.
  • Prevent overfishing and industrial farming.
  • Rewild our countryside.

Nature is taking a battering. Wildlife is disappearing. Our rivers are chock-full of sewage and chemicals. Our so-called marine protected areas are under attack from destructive fishing. And plastic pollution is everywhere.

We need a government that stands up to the industries that are destroying nature for profit, both at home and on the global stage. The priority has to be to support communities to transition to more sustainable farming and fishing methods, protect the precious few havens we have left and give nature space to bounce back.


  • Make the economy work for everyone.
  • Clean up the banks.
  • Support workers into jobs in the industries of the future.

The UK economy is stuck in a rut and the income gap between the richest and poorest keeps widening. A transition to a more climate conscious economy simply won’t work if it doesn’t bring everyone along with it.

Investment in green technology will undoubtedly create more jobs, but we need the government to provide proactive support for workers to train in these industries of the future.

And where’s the money for all this going to come from? As well as government borrowing to fund vital green infrastructure, we should increase taxes for those who have profited the most from landing us in this mess – the fossil fuel giants. And in our society, someone in the top 1% of earners will on average be responsible for 26 times more carbon emissions than someone in the bottom 10%, and they have the broadest shoulders. So we should tax the wealth and assets of the super-rich more to make sure they contribute to a fairer, safer and healthier future for everyone.


  • Protect our oceans and cut plastic.
  • Protect democracy and human rights.
  • Stop new drilling for oil and gas and tax big oil companies more to support people facing the worst climate impacts.

The UK once used to be a world leader in environment and nature protection – but no more. We need our government to protect people at home and on the global stage. We know that the climate crisis is impacting us unequally, and to be a real climate frontrunner, the UK needs to play a part in supporting those most vulnerable.

A major government programme to support clean industries and force polluting businesses and banks to align with climate goals could also give our economy a shot in the arm and help the UK keep pace with the green tech race globally, but most especially in the US, EU and China.

Politicians: listen or lose

The general election is a unique opportunity to fix the UK’s most urgent problems.

In depth: the policies we need

See Greenpeace's full breakdown of what all parties' manifestos should include.

Climate solutions are needed more urgently than ever before. The world is already experiencing average temperatures above the 1.5C threshold agreed by world leaders in the 2015 Paris agreement.

People everywhere have had their homes and communities ravaged by extreme weather. At the same time, many in the UK are unable to pay their bills and heat their homes. Meanwhile, oil companies, water companies and energy companies just get richer.

Around the UK, a huge majority of people want action on climate and nature when they vote in the general election on 4 July.

People care about having a stable climate for future generations. They want lower bills from renewable energy, and clean air and water.

Let’s show political parties that voters care about climate and nature – and we want better options on the ballot paper.

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