UK Political Party Stances on Climate and Energy Policies - EIC Partnership

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UK Political Party Stances on Climate and Energy Policies

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Ashley Game

Insight Analyst

As the UK gears up for the general election, major political parties release manifestos that reveal position on key energy issues.

Overview

The main UK political parties have released their manifestos in an attempt to attract voters ahead of the general election on Thursday 4th July.

Climate change, energy and the net-zero transition are expected to play a central role in the election, with the environment and climate change the fifth most important issue to voters, according to a recent poll from YouGov.

In this blog we have summarised each party’s stance on some of the major energy issues including net-zero, renewable generation, nuclear, North Sea oil and gas, energy bills and household insulation.

Flags Hanging from the Side of a Building as UK General Election Approaches

Labour Party

The Labour party want to make Britain a clean energy superpower, to cut bills, create jobs and deliver security with cheaper, zero-carbon electricity by 2030, accelerating to net-zero by 2050.

They will invest £8.3bn in a new publicly-owned company, Great British Energy, which will be funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas giants.

They aim to double onshore wind, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind by 2030. They will also support new nuclear and invest an additional £6.6bn to install insulation in 5 million homes.

Labour want to ensure a phased and responsible transition in the North Sea with a promise not to award any new oil and gas licences as they say it would not take a penny off bills, cannot make us energy secure, and will only accelerate the worsening climate crisis.

However, Labour will not revoke existing licenses, such as the recently awarded license at Rosebank, and will partner with business and workers to manage existing fields for the entirety of their lifespan.

They will also ban fracking for good and have committed to not grant any new coal licences and will stop the proposed new coal mine in Cumbria.

Conservative Party

The Conservative party aim to cut the cost of tackling climate change for households and business by reducing green levies on bills, and deliver net-zero by 2050.

They will treble offshore wind capacity and support onshore wind and solar in the right places, but not on the best agricultural land or where there is public opposition.

They will also scale up nuclear power and approve two new fleets of small modular reactors within the first 100 days of the next Parliament.

The Conservatives will also legislate to ensure annual licensing rounds for North Sea oil and gas production to provide energy to homes and businesses across the country and protect high-skilled and well-paid jobs in the industry.

They will keep the windfall tax on oil and gas in place until 2028-29, unless prices fall back to normal sooner, which is expected to raise over £26bn.

They will also introduce a new energy efficiency voucher scheme open to every household in England.

This would provide grant funding towards insulation, other energy efficiency improvements and solar panels.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2045 at the latest, which is five years earlier than the other major parties.

They will invest in renewable power so that 90% of the UK’s electricity is generated from renewables by 2030 and will remove the current restrictions on new solar and wind power, as well as investing in tidal and wave power.

They will also launch an emergency Home Energy Upgrade programme, with free insulation and heat pumps for low-income households.


The Lib Dems want to help people with the cost of living and their energy bills by implementing a proper, one-off windfall tax on the super-profits of oil and gas producers and traders.

They will also introduce a social tariff to provide targeted energy discounts for vulnerable households. They intend to implement the UK’s G7 pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies, while ensuring a just transition that values the skills and experience of people working in the oil and gas industry.

They would maintain the ban on fracking and introducing a ban on new coal mines as well as reinstating the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars.

Green Party

The Green party aim to push the Government to transition to a zero-carbon society as soon as possible, and more than a decade ahead of 2050.

They will install 80GW of offshore wind, 53 GW of onshore wind, and 100 GW of solar by 2035.

They want to see the phase-out of nuclear energy, which they say is unsafe, more expensive than renewables and takes too long to develop.

They will also invest £9bn over the next five years for low-carbon heating systems.


The Greens would cancel recent fossil fuel licences, such as for Rosebank, and stop all new fossil fuel extraction projects in the UK.

They want to remove all oil and gas subsidies and introduce a carbon tax to drive fossil fuels out of the economy and raise money to invest in the green transition.

They would also introduce a carbon tax on all fossil fuel imports and domestic extraction, based on greenhouse gas emissions produced when fuel is burned.

Reform UK

At the other end of the scale is Reform UK who would scrap net-zero and related subsidies as they believe it is crippling our economy, pushing up bills, damaging British industries, and making us less secure.

They claim that scrapping net zero and related subsidies would save £30bn per year.

However, the government independent spending watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, has said that “the costs of failing to get climate change under control would be much larger than those of bringing emissions down to net zero”.

Reform say they will unlock Britain’s vast energy treasure of oil and gas to slash energy bills, beat the cost-of-living crisis and unleash real economic growth.

They would start fast-track licences of North Sea oil and gas as well as fast-tracking clean nuclear energy with new Small Modular Reactors, built in Britain.

They also want to grant shale gas licences on test sites for two years and enable major production when safety is proven, with local compensation schemes.

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