UK Election 2024: What Political Parties Manifestos Say on Energy

What do the (main) parties manifestos in the 2024 general election say about energy policy?
Jayme Hudspith
July 3, 2024
-
5 min read.
A person putting their vote slip into a ballot box.

When is the UK general election?

Polling day is Thursday, July 4, 2024. The public can vote at their local polling station between 7 am and 10 pm, simply bring a photo ID. Counting begins as soon as the polls close.

The deadline to register to vote passed on June 18, so anyone who has yet to register will not be able to vote. The deadline for postal vote applications also closed on June 19 meaning any registered voter can only vote in person.

By June 9 the results will be announced and the elected party members will swear an oath of allegiance or make a solemn affirmation to govern the country for the next five years.

Who should I vote for?

It is important to remember that the country is not only voting for who will represent them in Westminster but also which of their local MPs will represent their constituency. While there are many factors you should consider, data suggests the party’s stance on energy is one of the voter's greatest concerns.

While your vote is a personal choice, in many areas of the UK this election is likely to be a race between the Labour and Conservative parties, meaning it may be best to make a tactical vote based on which best aligns your views, either way, it is your vote your choice.

To help you cut through the political jargon, we’ve dredged through the manifestos to help you digest what they are promising – and what is lacking – so that you can make an informed decision come voting day.

What are the political party's policies on energy?

Conservative Party

According to the Conservative Party’s manifesto, they aim to take a balanced approach to achieve net-zero emissions targets by 2050. As part of this, the party has vowed:

  1. Investment in Green Technology: The Conservatives have pledged to invest significantly in renewable energy technologies, such as offshore wind and nuclear energy. To increase offshore wind capacity to 40GW by 2030.
  2. Nuclear Power Expansion: The manifesto outlines plans to advance nuclear projects, including large-scale plants and small modular reactors, which they claim are crucial for a stable and low-carbon energy mix.
  3. Decarbonizing Industry: The party proposes creating industrial clusters with carbon capture and storage (CCS) capabilities, aiming to capture 10Mt of CO2 by 2030.
  4. Energy Efficiency: The document promises to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses by supporting the retrofitting of buildings and increasing funding for home insulation programs.
  5. Nature and Biodiversity: The party committed to planting 30 million trees annually and expanding protected areas to safeguard wildlife and natural habitats.

Labour Party

Whereas the Labour Party’s manifesto has outlined a more ambitious and comprehensive plan for tackling climate change – placing it as a central economic and social party. The pledges include:

  1. Green New Deal: The Labour Party has proposed a Green New Deal which will target net-zero goals to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 including large-scale investment in renewable energy – aiming for 90% of electricity and 50% of heat to come from renewable sources by 2030.
  2. Public Ownership: The party is advocating to bring key utilities into public ownership, including the national grid and major energy suppliers, to facilitate the transition to green energy and ensure affordability.
  3. Job Creation: Labour is backing the creation of millions of green jobs by investments in renewable energy, home insulation, and green infrastructure projects.
  4. Transport and Housing: Labour plans to electrify the transport network, including railways and public transport, and transition to electric vehicles. They also propose a massive home-building program with all new homes meeting zero-carbon standards.
  5. Biodiversity and Nature: The manifesto includes commitments to rewilding programs, planting two billion trees by 2040, and protecting marine habitats.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats' manifesto contains a detailed plan to tackle urgent climate action, including balancing environmental sustainability with economic growth.

  1. Achieving Net Zero by 2045: The Liberal Democrats plan to target net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, with an interim target of a 75% reduction by 2030.
  2. Renewable Energy Investment: They propose a major increase in renewable energy generation, particularly offshore wind and solar power, alongside supporting emerging technologies like tidal power.
  3. Energy Efficiency: The party plans to implement a national program for retrofitting homes and public buildings to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy bills, and cut emissions.
  4. Transport: Liberal Democrats aim to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and invest in public transport, cycling, and walking infrastructure to reduce reliance on personal vehicles.
  5. Nature Conservation: The manifesto includes pledges to protect and restore natural habitats, plant at least 60 million trees annually, and implement stronger regulations to prevent biodiversity loss.

Green Party

Unsurprisingly, the Green Party's manifesto is the most radical regarding environmental policies, focusing on immediate and transformative changes. Their key promises include:

  1. Net Zero by 2030: The Green Party is advocating for achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, the most ambitious target among the parties.
  2. Decarbonizing the Economy: They propose a comprehensive Green New Deal, investing in renewable energy, public transportation, and sustainable agriculture to transform the economy and create jobs.
  3. Renewable Energy: The Green Party plans to generate 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, including significant investments in wind, solar, and tidal energy.
  4. Energy Efficiency and Housing: They promise to upgrade every home to be energy-efficient and affordable to heat, to retrofit all homes by 2030.
  5. Environmental Protection: The manifesto includes extensive measures to protect and restore natural habitats, ban fracking and fossil fuel extraction, and promote rewilding and biodiversity.

While all parties have presented voters with distinct promises regarding energy, climate change, and net zero emission goals, however, their strategies and timelines differ drastically. The conservatives have outlined a gradual approach, Labour has an ambitious Green New Deal proposal, to the Liberal Democrats’ balanced targets, and the Green Party’s radical plan.

Voters should consider which of the manifestos best aligns with their beliefs and which party will best help to shape the UK’s environmental policies and its role in combating the global climate crisis.

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What do the (main) parties manifestos in the 2024 general election say about energy policy?

When is the UK general election?

Polling day is Thursday, July 4, 2024. The public can vote at their local polling station between 7 am and 10 pm, simply bring a photo ID. Counting begins as soon as the polls close.

The deadline to register to vote passed on June 18, so anyone who has yet to register will not be able to vote. The deadline for postal vote applications also closed on June 19 meaning any registered voter can only vote in person.

By June 9 the results will be announced and the elected party members will swear an oath of allegiance or make a solemn affirmation to govern the country for the next five years.

Who should I vote for?

It is important to remember that the country is not only voting for who will represent them in Westminster but also which of their local MPs will represent their constituency. While there are many factors you should consider, data suggests the party’s stance on energy is one of the voter's greatest concerns.

While your vote is a personal choice, in many areas of the UK this election is likely to be a race between the Labour and Conservative parties, meaning it may be best to make a tactical vote based on which best aligns your views, either way, it is your vote your choice.

To help you cut through the political jargon, we’ve dredged through the manifestos to help you digest what they are promising – and what is lacking – so that you can make an informed decision come voting day.

What are the political party's policies on energy?

Conservative Party

According to the Conservative Party’s manifesto, they aim to take a balanced approach to achieve net-zero emissions targets by 2050. As part of this, the party has vowed:

  1. Investment in Green Technology: The Conservatives have pledged to invest significantly in renewable energy technologies, such as offshore wind and nuclear energy. To increase offshore wind capacity to 40GW by 2030.
  2. Nuclear Power Expansion: The manifesto outlines plans to advance nuclear projects, including large-scale plants and small modular reactors, which they claim are crucial for a stable and low-carbon energy mix.
  3. Decarbonizing Industry: The party proposes creating industrial clusters with carbon capture and storage (CCS) capabilities, aiming to capture 10Mt of CO2 by 2030.
  4. Energy Efficiency: The document promises to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses by supporting the retrofitting of buildings and increasing funding for home insulation programs.
  5. Nature and Biodiversity: The party committed to planting 30 million trees annually and expanding protected areas to safeguard wildlife and natural habitats.

Labour Party

Whereas the Labour Party’s manifesto has outlined a more ambitious and comprehensive plan for tackling climate change – placing it as a central economic and social party. The pledges include:

  1. Green New Deal: The Labour Party has proposed a Green New Deal which will target net-zero goals to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 including large-scale investment in renewable energy – aiming for 90% of electricity and 50% of heat to come from renewable sources by 2030.
  2. Public Ownership: The party is advocating to bring key utilities into public ownership, including the national grid and major energy suppliers, to facilitate the transition to green energy and ensure affordability.
  3. Job Creation: Labour is backing the creation of millions of green jobs by investments in renewable energy, home insulation, and green infrastructure projects.
  4. Transport and Housing: Labour plans to electrify the transport network, including railways and public transport, and transition to electric vehicles. They also propose a massive home-building program with all new homes meeting zero-carbon standards.
  5. Biodiversity and Nature: The manifesto includes commitments to rewilding programs, planting two billion trees by 2040, and protecting marine habitats.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats' manifesto contains a detailed plan to tackle urgent climate action, including balancing environmental sustainability with economic growth.

  1. Achieving Net Zero by 2045: The Liberal Democrats plan to target net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, with an interim target of a 75% reduction by 2030.
  2. Renewable Energy Investment: They propose a major increase in renewable energy generation, particularly offshore wind and solar power, alongside supporting emerging technologies like tidal power.
  3. Energy Efficiency: The party plans to implement a national program for retrofitting homes and public buildings to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy bills, and cut emissions.
  4. Transport: Liberal Democrats aim to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and invest in public transport, cycling, and walking infrastructure to reduce reliance on personal vehicles.
  5. Nature Conservation: The manifesto includes pledges to protect and restore natural habitats, plant at least 60 million trees annually, and implement stronger regulations to prevent biodiversity loss.

Green Party

Unsurprisingly, the Green Party's manifesto is the most radical regarding environmental policies, focusing on immediate and transformative changes. Their key promises include:

  1. Net Zero by 2030: The Green Party is advocating for achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, the most ambitious target among the parties.
  2. Decarbonizing the Economy: They propose a comprehensive Green New Deal, investing in renewable energy, public transportation, and sustainable agriculture to transform the economy and create jobs.
  3. Renewable Energy: The Green Party plans to generate 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, including significant investments in wind, solar, and tidal energy.
  4. Energy Efficiency and Housing: They promise to upgrade every home to be energy-efficient and affordable to heat, to retrofit all homes by 2030.
  5. Environmental Protection: The manifesto includes extensive measures to protect and restore natural habitats, ban fracking and fossil fuel extraction, and promote rewilding and biodiversity.

While all parties have presented voters with distinct promises regarding energy, climate change, and net zero emission goals, however, their strategies and timelines differ drastically. The conservatives have outlined a gradual approach, Labour has an ambitious Green New Deal proposal, to the Liberal Democrats’ balanced targets, and the Green Party’s radical plan.

Voters should consider which of the manifestos best aligns with their beliefs and which party will best help to shape the UK’s environmental policies and its role in combating the global climate crisis.

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