Labour scores best on climate action, says Friends of the Earth

Elliot Chappell

Friends of the Earth has ranked Labour top for its plan to tackle climate change after analysing all the parties’ manifestos and policy announcements.

The organisation has marked the Conservatives, Green Party, Labour and Lib Dems against their own manifesto, covering ten areas including transport, food, nature, energy and local action.

Friends of the Earth concluded that the Lib Dems, Greens and Labour all scored well – but Labour achieved a slightly higher overall mark.

Labour scored 33/45 on the criteria set out by Friends of the Earth, while the Greens achieved a mark of 31 and the Lib Dems 30 – the Conservatives scored just 5.5.

The group highlighted well-funded policies on home energy efficiency and renewable energy from Labour, as well as an “ambitious pledge on tree planting”, detailed plans for food, and a commitment to strong environmental law.

The parties were marked on the following categories:

  • International climate commitments;
  • Surface transport;
  • Aviation;
  • Energy;
  • Homes;
  • Food, farming and land use;
  • Nature;
  • Local authorities;
  • Brexit;
  • Rights and democracy.
Friends of the Earth’s scoring of Labour’s policies.

Labour set out plans in its manifesto to transition the UK to a green economy with a £250bn green transformation fund dedicated to renewable and low-carbon energy and transport, biodiversity and environmental restoration.

Friends of the Earth noted that a letter from the Shadow Environment Secretary went further than measures stated in the manifesto, including a review of aviation policy and a frequent flyer levy.

The letter sent by Labour’s Sue Hayman also pledged to divert funds directly from the current road-building programme for public transport, walking and cycling projects.

According to Friends of the Earth, the Greens did not provide further clarification of their policies in a number of areas ahead of a deadline set by the environmental group. A subsequent letter was received but not included in the scoring.

Friends of the Earth – founded in 1971 – is the world’s largest international network of grassroots environmental organisations, working in 74 countries.

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