The Green Party is, and as expected, highly radical regarding energy- and environmental policy. This radicalism is seen throughout the manifesto and the Green Party is the first out of six UK parties to have their manifestos scrutinised and analysed on Darrow. The overall philosophy is that of radical change do address climate change, but also to deal with a range of issues from fuel poverty to the way the energy market operates. It is highly critical of the markets and it proposes high levels of government intervention throughout the policy areas.
Key policies include:
– A £45bn programme of retrofit insulation that will be free for consumers. This programme would, according to the Party, generate 100.000 jobs.
– The Party wants massive investments into renewable generation (up to £35bn). Large focus should be on expanding mature renewable technologies such as wind and solar PVs and bring down costs, for instance by reducing planning constraints on onshore wind.
– Invest £2.5bn on research and deployment into wave, tidal and other alternative renewables + storage
– All fossil fuels should be phased out by 2023 and nuclear power shortly thereafter (2025).
– Expand electricity storage capacity
– Smart meters and appliances
– Strongly against fracking
– Split up the large vertically integrated companies so that cannot both produce and supply to consumers
Find the Green Party manifesto in full here
The Green Party manifesto is, by considerable length, the most radical of the six. This extends throughout the manifesto and the energy and environment segments are no exemptions. It is clear that the Party envisages a new role that the government should play. This is also where it becomes clear that the Green Party is also located far to the left of British politics. The levels of government intervention in the markets and in the lives of ordinary doxycycline people is astounding. Its policy of retrofit isolation, free for all consumers with the State picking up the tab is just one example of this. The estimated cost is £45bn, greater than the entire defence budget. Coupled with its vow for heavy investments (£35bn) into renewables a completely new tax regime would be necessary. This approach is misdirected and stems from the basic assumption found within many parts of the Green movement that liberal capitalism is inherently bad. Wanting to preserve our environment should not be something that the Left should be allowed to monopolise; a bad natural environment is a bad business environment. Environmental protection should be depoliticised.
Certain of the Green Party policies are genuinely good and should be adopted at large, however given that they have been coupled with socialism it is hard for any centrists or centre-right voters to even consider it. Further investment and research efforts into energy and electricity storage are policies that are incredibly important and is a partial solution to their policies of phasing out fossil fuels and nuclear power, and thus the vast majority of Britain’s base load production. They allow their ideological resistance to fossil- and nuclear fuels to blind them, without realising the need for pragmatic solutions. Research efforts into CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) and modern nuclear power (e.g. IFR (Integrated Fast Reactors), thorium-fuelled reactors and SMRs (Small Modular Reactors)) can play a very important role in combating climate change whilst securing our own energy security. They fail to acknowledge this and undermines the Party’s credibility in terms of building an energy secure Britain with sustainable credentials but also with a solid energy production to continue to build our economic prosperity on.