Green Party Manifesto touts carbon tax and ambitious renewable energy targets

The Green Party has set out its manifesto, pledging to axe all fossil fuel subsidies, halt oil and gas licencing, increase renewable energy targets and launch a ten-year building energy efficiency improvement scheme.

Green Party Manifesto touts carbon tax and ambitious renewable energy targets

The Party is the third to launch its manifesto for next month’s general election, after the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. Labour’s manifesto is expected on Thursday (13 June).

Green Party co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay have outlined a vision to “create a greener, fairer country” in which all residents are “safer, happier and more fulfilled”.

Mainstream media coverage has largely focused on the Party’s approach to taxation. A Green government would, for example, implement a 1% wealth tax on individuals with assets exceeding £10m. An enhanced rate of 2% would apply to those with assets exceeding £1bn.

National Insurance would also go up for those earning significantly over the national average. The Party claims its changes would impact around 15% of people while benefiting the many.

Another key inclusion, perhaps of more interest to those working in the green economy, is the promise of a carbon tax of £120 per tonne, initially to be applied to sectors such as fossil fuels and heavy industry. The tax would be expanded to other sectors over time and gradually increased, over a decade, to £500 per tonne.

The manifesto states that such a carbon tax could raise up to £80bn.

Also included in the manifesto is a pledge for £2bn in grant funding for business decarbonisation annually. This should be provided to local authorities and targeted at small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), which account for around half of the UK’s private sector emissions.

A Green government would additionally set up regional mutual banks to help drive investment in initiatives which create local jobs in the green economy.

Energy transition vision

The manifesto’s chapter on the energy transition stipulates that Greens will advocate for the UK’s offshore wind target, currently set at 50GW by 2030, to be extended to 80GW by 2035.

The existing solar target, of 70GW by 2035, would also be increased to 100GW by 2035. And a new target for 53GW of onshore wind would be set for the same deadline.

Meeting these targets should mean that 70% of the UK’s electricity generation mix would come from wind.

Fossil fuels, meanwhile, would be phased down. The Greens are advocating for an end to all oil and gas subsidies and an end to new North Sea oil and gas licencing – plus the cancellation of recently-awarded licences for large projects such as Rosebank.

The chapter states that investment in energy storage and more efficient electricity distribution, coupled with efforts to build renewables generation closer to where energy is used, would maintain energy security without the need for the new nuclear and gas capacity proposed by the incumbent Conservative government.

On the energy demand side, a Green government would bring forward a ten-year home retrofit programme, with £29bn provided in the first five years for home insulation.

A similar scheme would launch for public and private buildings with a £4bn budget over five years.

Additionally, there would be £9bn allocated over five years to subsidise the transition to heat pumps for homes and non-domestic buildings. The incumbent Government has set aside £1.5bn for home heat pumps, in comparison.

Other commitments in the Green Party manifesto include:

  • A new ‘Rights of Nature’ act, giving human rights to nature itself
  • Taking water companies into public ownership
  • A new Clean Air Act
  • Increasing international aid spending to 1% of gross national income
  • Boosting the UK’s contribution to the Loss and Damage Fund
  • A threefold increase to financial support for farmers
  • Enhanced targets to improve biodiversity and soil health
  • Enhanced policies to tackle food waste
  • £10bn in subsidies for bus and rail travel in the next Parliament
  • An additional £19bn in spending on active transport and transport electrification
  • A new frequent flyer levy
  • A ban on airport expansion
  • A ban on domestic flights for journeys that would take less than three hours by train

Click here for edie’s coverage of the Conservative Party manifesto. 

Click here for edie’s coverage of the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto. 

Comments (3)

  1. Richard Phillips says:

    Adrian’s first in politics is not, necessarily a firm basis on which to place the Nations’ energy policy; energy is a very technical area, I was on the nuclear side.
    Renewable energy is all very well, very useful if the demand is not for continuous, reliable power.
    For this latter area, the best solution is fission or fusion, the latter is the hope for the future.
    Just the unvarnished truth!!!!!
    I was about to add “sorry”, but I’m not!!

  2. Peter Vaughan says:

    I totally agree with Richard Phillips I cannot support the Green stance on Nuclear power which is based upon out dated concepts. all the evidence from other countries e.g. Germany is that if you do not keep nuclear going the energy gap will be replaced by fossil fuel increased usage.

    1. Richard Phillips says:

      Many thanks, Peter.
      I have had confidence in nuclear power ever since I joined Harwell in 1954 as a new owner of an ARIC, remember them?!!
      The only change that I would have made would have been to keep it in public ownership!!
      I would doubt that the present ownership is concerned with much more than than the profit margin!!

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