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Looking beyond Brexit: political parties and climate change

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Which political parties in the UK have the greenest manifestos? 

General elections will be held on December 12, 2019. Image: Paul Albertella

UK residents are more concerned about climate change than Brexit, yet most parties have a greater emphasis on the latter in their manifestos.  

While all the major political parties have some mention of climate change within their manifestos, mentions of Brexit are far more numerous in some cases.  

Recent polls have shown that the British public views climate change as a more pressing issue than Brexit. 

Dr. Marcus Gomes, a researcher of the governance of sustainability said, “Climate change is not an issue for the future, it is an issue for the present… 

“This election should go beyond discussing Brexit, should go beyond discussing the issues of today, but also how we will address the needs of our society and economic system in order to deal with the changes in the environment.”  

Earlier this year, UK Parliament officially declared a national state of climate emergency.  

With general elections this week, Extinction Rebellion gathered representatives from the major political parties in Cardiff, to compare how their manifestos measure up regarding climate change.  

Also present were academic experts from various fields related to climate change to fact check the positions put forward by the political representatives. 

The Green and Labour Parties have the greenest manifestos with respect to climate change and environmental policies.    

The Conservative Party manifesto mentions climate change the least, only eight times compared to 61 mentions of ‘Brexit’. 

Labour, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party by contrast dedicated at least ten times more space towards the environment in their manifestos.