Vote with the Climate in Mind

Election 2024

Vote with the Climate in Mind – at the general election on Thursday 4th July.

This general election, we have a choice.

We can let things carry on as they are, with spiralling food, energy and transport prices… or we can use our vote to support a sustainable, greener future.

It may be the most important choice we make in our lives.

Climate change is already here. Last year, average world temperatures rose above 1.5C for the first time (see source below). We saw the effects in Britain last winter, with endless rain and storms which devastated our crops and livestock. 

The climate crisis is already driving higher food and energy costs. Action to tackle it can also bring us better housing, more jobs and a decent quality of life. Sustainable, green investment now will deliver energy security, a stronger, resilient economy, and better lives for all of us.

Nature and climate are not luxuries but essentials: our economy and our future wellbeing depend on clean air and water, a thriving natural world, and a stable climate.

We need to choose a government that will invest in green, renewable energy and technologies, roll out a comprehensive programme of home insulation, and make our communities as resilient as possible to the effects of climate change.

Thinking about voting tactically? Have a look below at answers from candidates to questions about the climate and biodiversity crises. You can also check latest polling predictions by constituency e.g. from the Financial Times which will depend on the eventual turnout – an average of the last four elections is approximately 56k.

Source

In January 2024 scientists at the Copernicus Climate Change Service reported that the past 12 months were 1.52 degrees Celsius (2.74 degrees Fahrenheit) higher on average compared with between 1850 and 1900. Washington Post 8.2.24.

What are the candidates saying about the climate?

In this constituency, Skipton and Ripon, the following candidates are standing: Julian Smith (Conservative and our previous MP), Malcolm Birks (Labour), Andy Brown (The Green Party), Simon Garvey (Reform), Ryan Kett (Yorkshire Party), Andrew Murday (Liberal Democrats), Guy Phoenix (Heritage Party) and Keith Tordoff (Independent).

Vote with the climate in mind by reading the following general information about the candidates below. This will be supplemented with the party manifestoes, once published, and responses to questions from us on the climate and biodiversity crises.

Hustings: Tuesday 25th June, 5.30pm for 5.45-6.45pm at Settle St John’s Methodist Church (BD24 9JH) organised by Settle Churches Together. All candidates have confirmed their attendance.

Questions to be submitted on a question form by 6pm on Monday 24th June to CTISAD Chair, Marian McNicholl. By email to: electionctisad@gmail.com or by post to 5 Raines Rd. Giggleswick. BD24 0AQ. Please complete a question form which can be downloaded from the CTISAD website: www.ctisad.org.uk or requested by email, as above. All welcome.

Curious about polling predictions for this constituency – check out what the Financial Times’ model is currently predicting here.

THE CANDIDATES

Julian Smith (Conservative and previous MP, before this election was called)

Read general information about Julian here.

Read the Conservative Party’s manifesto here.

Read Julian’s responses to our questions about the climate and biodiversity here (to follow when available).

Julian’s parliamentary voting record: on a range of subjects can be viewed via ‘They Work for You‘ – search environment issues for climate and biodiversity.

Malcolm Birks (Labour)

Read general information about Malcolm and the Labour Party here.

Read the Labour Party’s manifesto here.

Read Malcolm’s responses to our questions about the climate and biodiversity here (to follow when available).

Andy Brown (The Green Party)

Read general information about Andy and The Green Party here.

Read the Green Party’s manifesto here.

Read Andy’s responses to our questions about the climate and biodiversity questions, as follows…

Restricting the policies I think are important for the environment down to only 3 is exceptionally difficult but I will try.

  1. I would pass a law requiring all companies to label their products in a standard way and requiring them to make a steadily increasing proportion of what they make fully reuseable. I would impose even stronger controls on the packaging and distribution companies. We seem to put all the pressure on the consumers and incredibly little on those who are producing the problems. The whole of Skipton and Ripon is covered by a thin layer of microplastics. We are on track to have more plastic in the sea than fish. We have microplastics in our own and our children’s bodies. Yet the amount of plastic produced each year is still INCREASING. It is not going down
  2. I would subsidise the installation of home energy saving measures with a particular emphasis on reducing peak time consumption. I would get the funding by scrapping wasteful schemes like Hinkley Point which is currently expected to cost £46 billion. Policies so far have focused on how we produce extra energy by supposedly green methods. That is never going to be as effective as cutting demand at peak periods. Battery technology now allows homes to store energy at 2am in the morning when little is used and the vast majority of that comes from wind farms. That energy can then be drawn on at 5pm on a Friday night when the gas power stations are currently being run. If we do that it will be much easier to achieve the energy security and carbon reduction targets we need to hit.
  3. I would impose very strict environmental controls on water companies and proper checks from the Environment Agency. Any water company that could not afford to meet those standards I would allow to go bankrupt without any compensation to the share holders. I would then wish the British government to set up a new nationalised industry without debts so that we could invest in a future when we don’t have sewage in our rivers.

I hope this helps. None of what we do will be adequate if we have a government that thinks moving slowly on climate change is sensible. It is not. It is reckless folly. If we were about to be hit by a truck we would not stand in the road arguing about how slowly we could move out of the way. We are about to be hit by the truck of climate change in ways that destroy the prospects for a pleasant future for our children and grandchildren. It is going to be hard to explain to them why some of us voted for parties that decided to row back on serious action the second they encountered serious opposition from well funded fossil fuel lobbyists. We cannot endorse any party that wants slow action with our votes.

Simon Garvey (Heritage Party)

Read general information about Simon and the Heritage Party here.

Read the Heritage Party’s manifesto, when published, here.

Read Simon’s responses to our questions about the climate and biodiversity here (to follow when available).

Ryan Kett (Yorkshire Party)

Read general information about Ryan and the Yorkshire Party here.

Read the Yorkshire Party’s manifesto, when published, here.

Read Ryan’s responses to our questions about the climate and biodiversity crises here (to follow when available).

Andrew Murday (Liberal Democrat)

Read general information about Andrew and the Lib Dems here.

Read the Lib Dem’s manifesto here.

Read Andrew’s responses to our questions about the climate and biodiversity crises are as follows…

I have been active in Nidderdale with our local energy generating group as well as learning from the Settle group. I am also actively involved in the Nidd Action Group, which is undertaking testing for polutants in the River Nidd.

I have also been active locally with financial support, for local bus companies and interest groups, and in the council, trying to promote environmentally friendly active transport. In particular, our Lib Dem group successfully proposed a motion so that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are to be incorporated into all North Yorkshire Council policies.

I have copied from our manifesto all the policies which we will be promoting both now during the election campaign and afterwards in Parliament. The manifesto can be downloaded from: www.northyorkslibdems.org.uk

  • Take the action needed now to achieve net zero by 2045, including:
    • Meeting the UK’s commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by at least 68% from 1990 levels by 2030.
    • Requiring the National Infrastructure Commission to take fully into account the environmental implications of all national infrastructure decisions.
    • Putting tackling climate change at the heart of a new industrial strategy, as set out in chapter 4.
    • Investing in education and training to equip people with the skills needed for the low-carbon economy of the future, as set out in chapters 4 and 8.
    • Ensuring that nature-based solutions, including tree planting, form a critical part of the UK’s strategy to tackle climate change, as set out in chapter 12.
    • Putting our farming and food system on an environmentally sustainable footing, as set out in chapter 13.
    • Making it cheaper and easier to switch to electric vehicles, restoring the requirement that every new car and small van sold from 2030 is zero-emission, investing in active travel and public transport, electrifying Britain’s railways, and reducing the climate impact of flying, as set out in chapter 16.
    • Coordinating action across the UK by creating a Joint Climate Council of the Nations, as set out in chapter 20.
       
  • Cut energy bills and emissions, and end fuel poverty, by:
    • Launching an emergency Home Energy Upgrade programme, with free insulation and heat pumps for low-income households and a central role for local authorities in delivering this programme.
    • Providing incentives for installing heat pumps that cover the real costs.
    • Immediately requiring all new homes and non-domestic buildings to be built to a zero-carbon standard, including being fitted with solar panels, and progressively increasing standards as technology improves.
    • Reintroducing requirements for landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties to EPC C or above by 2028.
    • Introducing a new subsidised Energy-Saving Homes scheme, with pilots to find the most effective combination of tax incentives, loans and grants, together with advice and support.
    • Introducing a social tariff for the most vulnerable to provide targeted energy discounts for vulnerable households.
    • Helping people with the cost of living and their energy bills by implementing a proper, one-off windfall tax on the super-profits of oil and gas producers and traders.
    • Decoupling electricity prices from the wholesale gas price.
    • Eliminating unfair regional differences in domestic energy bills.
       
  • Accelerate the deployment of renewable power and deliver energy security by:
    • Removing the Conservatives’ unnecessary restrictions on new solar and wind power, and supporting investment and innovation in tidal and wave power in particular.
    • Maintaining the ban on fracking and introducing a ban on new coal mines.
    • Building the grid infrastructure required, facilitated by a strategic Land and Sea Use Framework as set out in chapter 15.
    • Implementing the UK’s G7 pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies, while ensuring a just transition that values the skills and experience of people working in the oil and gas industry and provides good opportunities for them, and takes special care of the regions and communities most affected.
    • Investing in energy storage, including green hydrogen, pumped storage and battery capability.
    • Working together with our European neighbours to build a sustainable supply chain for renewable energy technology.
    • Building more electricity interconnectors between the UK and other countries to guarantee security of supply, located carefully to avoid disruption to local communities and minimise environmental damage.
       
  • Support the expansion of community and decentralised energy, including:
    • Empowering local authorities to develop local renewable electricity generation and storage strategies.
    • Giving small low-carbon generators the right to export their electricity to an existing electricity supplier on fair terms.
    • Requiring large energy suppliers to work with community schemes to sell the power they generate to local customers.
    • Reducing access costs for grid connections.
    • Reforming the energy network to permit local energy grids.
    • Guaranteeing that community benefit funds receive a fair share of the wealth generated by local renewables infrastructure.
       
  • Restore the UK’s role as a global leader on climate change by:
    • Restoring international development spending to 0.7% of national income, with tackling climate change a key priority for development spending.
    • Showing leadership on the Paris Agreement by meeting the UK’s Nationally Determined Contribution and arguing for greater global ambition.
    • Working together with our European neighbours to tackle the climate emergency, including by associating the UK Emissions Trading System with the EU ETS.
    • Continuing the UK’s support for the UN Loss and Damage Fund for countries particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, to ensure a just transition for all.
    • Pressing for all OECD countries to agree to end subsidies for foreign fossil fuel projects.
       
  • Hold businesses to account for their role in tackling climate change by:
    • Introducing a general duty of care for the environment, as set out in chapter 4.
    • Requiring all large companies listed on UK stock exchanges to set targets consistent with achieving the net zero goal, and to report on their progress.
    • Regulating financial services to encourage climate-friendly investments, including requiring pension funds and managers to show that their portfolio investments are consistent with the Paris Agreement, and creating new powers for regulators to act if banks and other investors are not managing climate risks properly.
       
  • Support British industry to cut emissions by:
    • Setting out a clear and stable roadmap to net zero, repairing the damage done by Conservative U-turns and giving businesses the confidence to invest.
    • Expanding the market for climate-friendly products and services with steadily higher criteria in public procurement policy.
    • Implementing the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism for high-emission products, protecting UK businesses from unfair competition.
    • Reducing emissions from industrial processes by supporting carbon capture and storage and new low-carbon processes for cement and steel production.
    • Providing more advice to companies on cutting emissions, supporting the development of regional industrial clusters for zero-carbon innovation and increasing the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund. 

Guy Phoenix (Heritage Party)

Read general information about Guy and the Heritage Party here.

Read the Heritage Party’s manifesto: here.

Read Guy’s responses to our questions about the climate and biodiversity crises here (to follow when available).

Keith Tordoff (Independent)

Read general information about Keith here.

Read Keith ‘s manifesto here, once published.

Read Keith’s responses to our questions about the climate and biodiversity questions here (to follow when available).