George Monbiot: I read all the manifestos for the UK general election published so far. I was immediately struck by a remarkable gulf: between their emphasis, and the media’s emphasis in reporting them. For the first time ever, environmental policies are now central, almost everywhere. But they have scarcely been mentioned in most of the coverage, which is all about Brexit, spending pledges, immigration and the usual 20th-century themes. It’s a reminder that the most environmentally dangerous industry we face, largely controlled by billionaires, is the media. This is not to say that the manifestos have got it right. The Brexit party’s content-free “contract” is a total joke. The Democratic Unionist party writes as if it has been leafing through the dictionary, trying to discover what “environmental” means. Some of the Tory party’s pledges are promising, but they’re so vague that it could wriggle out of most of them. Labour’s transformation is genuinely exciting, but is beset by some important contradictions. Plaid Cymru’s proposals are pretty good, but it has a blind spot on farming (it wants to maintain the EU’s disastrous common agricultural policy, apparently without modification). The Liberal Democrats, mostly, get it. But only the Greens have really grasped what it means to democratise our relationship with the living world.
Guardian 27th Nov 2019 read more »
The Nuclear Industry Association has praised the UK’s two largest political parties for backing nuclear power in their election manifestos. The NIA said pledges from both the Conservative and Labour parties was recognition of nuclear’s “critical role” in fighting climate change and reaching the Net Zero 2050 target. In its manifesto, the Tories say: “We will support gas for hydrogen production and nuclear energy, including fusion, as important parts of the energy system, alongside increasing our commitment to renewables.” Labour has committed to kick-starting a “green industrial revolution to create one million jobs in the UK…transforming our economy into one low in carbon, rich in good jobs, radically fairer and more democratic”. It says that “new nuclear power is needed for energy security” with the party pledging to work with the community of Anglesey to realise its potential for new nuclear, following the shelving of plans for a power station ay Wylfa Newydd, along with renewable energy developments.
Carlisle News & Star 27th Nov 2019 read more »
It’s been by far the greenest campaign in UK election history, with parties pledging tougher policies on the environment and climate change. But in a year of Greta Thunberg’s UN speech and Sir David Attenborough’s documentaries on the state of the planet, how far do the parties really go? Well, after 30 years reporting this issue, I think that for the first time major parties have policies that match up to the scale of the challenge.
BBC 28th Nov 2019 read more »