Greens say they are only party committed to 'waging war' on climate crisis with 2030 net zero carbon target

Pledges by other parties to end emissions as late as 2050 attacked as 'not good enough'

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Tuesday 19 November 2019 12:27 GMT
Jonathan Bartley launches Green party manifesto

Only the Green Party is willing to wage “a war” on climate change by ending the UK’s contributions to climate change by 2030, it has told voters.

The party has unveiled 10 planned pieces of legislation – and a £100bn package to achieve net zero carbon emissions faster than all other parties – at the launch of its general election manifesto.

Jonathan Bartley, the Green Party’s co-leader, attacked pledges by the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats curtail emissions as late as 2050 as “not good enough”.

Labour has dropped plans to act by 2030, after a backlash from trade unions worried about jobs, a shadow cabinet minister revealed on Monday.

Mr Bartley said: “When there’s a war, when we’re facing an existential threat, we don’t hold back, we know that we have to tackle it.

“Frankly, if the climate were a bank, we would have bailed it out by now.”

And he added: “While the other parties are catching up we are racing ahead into the distance, reaching new horizons. We are the groundbreakers and the innovators.”

Among the legislation promised by the Green party – which is standing in 369 out of 650 seats on 12 December – is:

* A Green New Deal Bill – to “get the UK on track to reducing climate emissions to net zero by 2030”.

* A People's Vote Bill – to implement a Final Say Brexit referendum on “the future of our relationship with the European Union”.

* A Future Generations Bill – to require the state “to balance the needs of the present with the needs of the future”.

* An NHS Reinstatement Bill – to increase funding for the NHS by at least £6bn per year, until 2030.

* A Universal Basic Income Bill – introducing unconditional payments for everyone “above their subsistence needs”.

* A New Homes Bill – to build 100,000 new zero carbon homes for low-cost rent each year.

* A Renters’ Rights Bill – to make housing “more secure” and bring down rent levels.

* A Voting Reform Bill – to introduce proportional representation, create a fully elected House of Lords, and extend the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds.

The Greens are facing a battle to avoid their vote being squeezed, as happened in the 2017 election, in what is shaping up to be another Labour-Conservative battle.

After good local election results, and an almost 12 per cent vote share in May’s European elections, the party is now polling at about 3 per cent.

The party has formed an anti-Brexit electoral pact with the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru in 60 seats across England and Wales.

However, it has set its sights on eight new targets, including Bristol West, Bury St Edmunds, Exeter, the Forest of Dean, the Isle of Wight and Dulwich and West Norwood, in London.

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