"This General Election must be a climate election - and the choice is stark."
Climate change will influence how the majority of people vote in the upcoming General Election, a new survey suggests.
The poll by environmental law firm ClientEarth shows that climate change will affect how 54% of adults will vote in the next general election. Nearly two third (63%) of adults in Britain want the government to introduce a Green New Deal. The analysis also finds that most Britons don’t think banks should risk investing in fossil fuels.
Jonathan Church from ClientEarth, said: “From the student strikes to Extinction Rebellion, people across the UK are demanding greater action to address the climate crisis.
“Importantly these demands appear strong enough to make a difference at the next election.”
The poll of 2,000 UK adults by Opinium was conducted in September, before the latest Extinction Rebellion ‘shutdown’ of London.
Caroline Lucas, Green MP and former co-leader of the party, said: “The next parliament will be critical in determining whether we can turn away from our current path which is leading us straight to climate catastrophe.
“The Committee on Climate Change has warned that if the UK is to have any credibility on climate, action needs to be taken in the next 12 months. So there has never been a more important time to vote Green.
“Our record shows we are the only party that has consistently been on the side of the environment and can be trusted to tackle the climate emergency and decarbonise our economy in a way which is just and fair.”
A ‘Green New Deal’ is likely to be a key talking point during the election. Labour backed ambitious plans for zero carbon by 2030 at the party’s September conference, while the Green Party have long supported a GND.
David Clarke, head of policy at campaign group Positive Money said:
“With climate worries at an all-time high, voters will be looking to politicians to offer concrete action on environmental breakdown. All parties must put forward solutions to stop Britain’s financial system pouring new money into fossil fuels.”
“We also know that it’s not only business-as-usual which is destroying our environment. It is the continuous pursuit of economic growth. An economic strategy which puts human health and well-being, and the health of our planet, at the heart of government is the only way to avert climate catastrophe and build a more sustainable society.”
Aliya Yule, co-founder of Labour for a Green New Deal said that there are just 11 years left to limit climate catastrophe – making this election pivotal:
“This election will decide our planet’s future…the stakes couldn’t be higher: it’s Labour’s Green New Deal or Johnson’s Tory nightmare. Socialism or barbarism.
“This General Election must be a climate election and the choice is stark. The Tories are pursuing Project Dystopia: a Bonfire Brexit, war on migrants, burning the planet for profit. Labour will kickstart a Green Industrial Revolution to rapidly decarbonise our economy and irrevocably transfer wealth and power from the greedy few into the hands of the majority.
“We will fight with everything we have for a Labour government. Our network of thousands of activists will organise climate canvasses and rallies across the country…This is the fight of a lifetime, and we’re going to win.”
Earlier this year, Caroline Lucas and Labour’s Clive Lewis proposed a Green New Deal Bill in Parliament, but as a backbench bill it did not proceed.
Labour recently releases an expert report on how to reach ‘net zero’ by its 2030 target.
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.
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