Friday 08-11-2019 - 10:22
As the UK heads to the polling station once more on 12 December, SOS-UK is calling for the climate emergency and ecological crisis to feature at the centre of commitments made by all political parties.
We know that levels of concern about climate change are at an all-time high amongst students, with 91% saying they are concerned or very concerned about climate change in our regular tracker survey. These levels of concern have the potential to influence voting intention with 80% of respondents to the same survey saying they would vote for a government that increased action to tackle climate change.
Zamzam Ibrahim, SOS-UK and NUS President, says: “It’s vital that students have their voices heard on the climate crisis. Young people are registering to vote in their tens of thousands because they are worried about the future. The IPCC says we have just 11 years to transform our society away from fossil fuels, so this election is absolutely critical. All issues pale into insignificance compared to the urgency and magnitude of the climate emergency and ecological crisis.”
As a result, we're calling on all political parties to commit to:
- The six demands of Teach the Future, including an independent review of the education system, a Climate Emergency Education Act, a Climate Emergency Endowment Fund, and net-zero classrooms from 2020
- Improve democracy by introducing votes for 16- and 17-year olds and proportional representation
- Bringing forward the UK's net-zero carbon date to 2027, with a delivery plan published ahead of COP26 in 2020
- An ambitious Green New Deal from 2020 to support a just transition to a decarbonised economy, addressing the climate crisis whilst also addressing inequality and quality of life for the current and future workforce
- Lift the block on onshore renewables and guarantee a permanent ban on fracking across the UK, ensuring the UK's energy needs are met by a continued move away from fossil fuels and towards renewables
- New legislation in the form of a strong Environment Bill with legally binding environmental improvement targets that will restore our biodiversity and natural systems
- Support for an Agriculture Bill that rewards farmers and land managers for producing food in a way that prioritises public health and the environment over yields
- Invest £1 billion per year to incentivise further investment in upgrading housing with poor energy efficiency, prioritising the private rented sector
- Address the increasing emissions from aviation by putting VAT on aviation fuel and cancelling Heathrow's third runway expansion
- Double UK woodland cover by 2045 through tree planting and progressing agroforestry
To ensure this agenda is firmly on the table, SOS-UK is supporting the Climate Nature Debate campaign led by Possible and school strike organisers UKSCN which calls on party leaders to take part in a televised debate on climate change and nature.
You can download a copy of our General Election 2019 Manifesto here. It's also available in Welsh here.