Caroline Lucas announces Green Party’s environment promises
11 May 2017
- Green Party pledges to protect the natural world in the wake of the EU referendum, introduce locally owned energy companies, and end plastic waste
- Caroline Lucas: “Building a successful economy is not at odds with protecting our environment, it is impossible without it.”
- Launch: 10.30am, Thursday 11 May, Woodberry Wetlands, N16 5HQ 
Caroline Lucas is set to announce how the Green Party will put the environment at the heart of its politics at the launch of the party’s Environment Manifesto.
Speaking to conservation activists at Woodberry Wetlands  in London, Lucas is expected to say Britain’s economic prosperity “depends on the natural world”, and that “a prosperous, thriving future will be green - or not at all”.
The Green Party Environment Manifesto  will include plans for:
- A new Environmental Protection Act which to protect natural world in the wake of the EU referendum decision by creating a new environmental regulator and court
- Ending the monopoly of the Big Six energy companies by building democratic, locally owned alternatives
- Ending plastic waste by introducing a bottle deposit scheme to stop 16 million plastic bottles ending up in environment every day
Caroline Lucas, Green Party co-leader, is expected to say:
“The environment has been wilfully ignored by the political mainstream and our climate and our countryside will pay the price of an environment-free election. With 2016 the hottest year on record, and a climate-denier in the White House, the need for bold and dynamic action on climate change has never been more urgent. The UK must lead the world in building a green economy and investing in a viable future - one that respects and nurtures the natural systems on which we depend. The Greens are the only party to truly recognise the importance of the environment.
“Our economic prosperity depends on the natural world. It is the ultimate source of everything we make and use - from food and materials, to the air we breathe. Even the digital economy depends on rare earth metals and huge amounts of energy. Building a successful economy is not at odds with protecting our environment, it is impossible without it. A prosperous, thriving future will be green - or not at all.”
- The launch will be held at 10.30am on Thursday 11 May 2017 at Woodberry Wetlands, West & Coal House Entrance: New River Path via Lordship Road, N16 5HQ
- Woodberry Wetlands was opened last year by Sir David Attenborough and is an example of how it is possible to create green space within cities to benefit both the environment and local communities.
- THE GREEN PARTY’S ENVIRONMENT MANIFESTO - KEY POLICIES
A LONG-TERM GOAL FOR NATURE
The Green Party will push for a new Act of Parliament to protect important EU regulations, and enshrine long-term goals for the environment into law. With almost 60% of species in the UK in long-term decline, and 15% are at risk of disappearing altogether, the need for a generational plan to restore our natural world is clearer than ever.
- A Green Guarantee in Brexit negotiations and Trade Deals to ensure that all EU-derived legislation, including the Precautionary and Polluter-Pays principles, are maintained and strengthened.
- Create a new Office for Environmental Protection and an Environmental Court that would monitor and enforce new long-term goals for biodiversity, water and air quality.
- Build a network of inter-linking local ecological spaces on both land and sea, ensuring that both our wildest places and urban green spaces are protected and allowed to flourish.
- Establish a right for every person in the UK to have access to a healthy and safe green space promoting good mental health, physical exercise, and building community.
INNOVATE AND INVEST IN THE LOW-CARBON ECONOMY
Our energy system is broken and is not delivering what households and businesses need - fuelled by dirty energy that belongs in the past, it is failing us both as customers and as citizens. The Green Party will harness the dramatically falling costs of renewable energy, and reverse the uncertainty created by years of government neglect.
- Create a new Green Investment and Innovation Centre with borrowing powers to finance the transition to a zero-carbon economy, creating a government owned hub for innovation and investment in our low-carbon economy. Without decisive action, investment in renewable energy is set to drop by 95% over next two years.
- Keep fossil fuels where they belong: in the ground. We will introduce a ban on fracking, phase-out the £6bn-a-year fossil fuel subsidies, bring forward the coal phaseout date to 2023 (at the latest), divest public funds from the fossil fuel industry, and ensure a just transition for those communities dependent on fossil fuel jobs.
TAKE BACK CONTROL OF OUR ENERGY SYSTEM
- End the monopoly of the Big Six by building democratic, locally owned alternatives - reaching at least 42 gigawatts by 2025. We will require grid operators to give priority access to community energy projects, and pioneer a new Community Energy Toolkit to empower local communities to create energy and municipal heating projects in every town and city.
- Democratise energy ownership by reforming tax-relief for smaller-scale projects, introducing Green ISAs, promoting Green Bonds by allowing tax-free bonds for green projects, and issuing government backed Green Bonds.
- Introduce progressive energy tariffs so that small consumers pay less per unit than large ones, special needs are recognised, people are not cut off when they can’t afford to pay, and nobody is forced to have pre-payment meters.
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