Green Party pledges £900 billion to tackle climate emergency at election campaign launch

6 November 2019, 13:15

Green Party Co-Leader Sian Berry (left), Deputy Leader and Parliamentary Candidate for Newport West Amelia Womack (right), and Bristol West Candidate Carla Denyer (centre)
Green Party Co-Leader Sian Berry (left), Deputy Leader and Parliamentary Candidate for Newport West Amelia Womack (right), and Bristol West Candidate Carla Denyer (centre). Picture: PA

By Megan White

The Green Party has launched its General Election campaign with a pledge to spend £100 billion a year on tackling the climate emergency.

The party is hoping to borrow more than £900 billion over the next decade in a bid to rid the UK of fossil fuels.

Joint leader Sian Berry outlined their plan to turn the UK carbon neutral by 2030 as she branded December 12 a "climate election".

The party plans to hike corporation tax by 5 per cent in an attempt to service the huge debt, which will be used to build 100,000 energy-efficient homes a year and upgrade national transport infrastructure.

They launched their manifesto in Bristol West, a key Green Party target seat, where the local council on Tuesday night approved plans to ban diesel cars from the city centre by 2021.

Ms Berry said: "Some things are even bigger than Brexit. This must be the climate election.

"This could be our last chance to elect a Parliament to keep us below dangerous warming.

"The climate doesn't care about promises. The environment doesn't care about pledges.

“What we need is action. And the Green Party has the single most ambitious and comprehensive plan to go carbon neutral by 2030 while delivering social justice across Britain."

Some £91.2 billion of the proposed yearly spending will come from borrowing, with the party arguing that the low cost of debt and impending climate crisis justifies the commitment.

The rest of the money will come from its proposed tax changes, with which it also hopes to service the cost of the borrowing.

Under Theresa May, the government committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

But the Green Party hopes to better that goal with its so-called Green New Deal, which it hopes will also encourage increased investment from the private sector.

The spending commitments come after a year of increasing pressure from environmentalists, including the direct action group Extinction Rebellion.

Last month, Ms Berry's colleague and party co-leader Jonathan Bartley was arrested during an Extinction Rebellion protest on Whitehall.

A Green Party spokesman said at the time: "Climate chaos will end ecosystems and collapse our society.

“We have just 10 years to reduce our CO2 emissions to safer levels and climate protesters are drawing attention to that."

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