Environment

A cleaner environment

Policies in this section only affect the UK as a whole unless specified.

We want to save our environment. Rather than looking fully to state intervention, we want to harness the power of free markets and to make it advantageous for businesses to be environmentally friendly.

Sections:

Renewable energy should be subsidised and given tax reductions. This would include wind turbines, tidal power, solar power, hydroelectric power and hydrogen energy. These forms of power don’t result in nuclear waste; harmful emissions like coal power produces and they won’t run out. They will also help the UK to combat global warming. We also believe that where possible wind turbines should on land rather than offshore as a result of the difficulty with the maintenance of offshore wind turbines.

We have an overall aim for the UK to build up its renewable energy base enough to provide all the UK’s power. One way to increase the use of renewable energy is to make it more affordable. This can be achieved in two ways, subsidies and tax breaks. Subsidising renewable energy will make it more affordable to buy renewable energy sources. Tax based regulation not only makes it cheaper to buy renewable energy, but it also makes it more costly to use more harmful types of energy.

To overcome the issues arising from the varying levels of power produced by renewable energy there are two solutions. First is grid technology which saves electricity and allows people to feed power into and out of the grid more efficiently. Second is large batteries to store power in times of high electricity production such as the one built in South Australia by Tesla in 2017.

Invest in renewable energy research. Whilst investing in renewable energy is important, we also need to invest in research too. This will apply to the capture, storage and usage of renewable energy. There are two areas we feel need urgent research. First is carbon capture as this could reverse climate change by bringing CO2 levels down. The main sources of carbon such as factories and areas with higher levels of carbon pollution need to be targeted. Further research is also needed on storing carbon once it has been captured. Second is hydrogen power as a replacement for fossil fuel burning cars. The capture of this needs extensive research as the current methods of capture make it too costly for general use. Finally, whilst grid technology is already widely used, improving it can reduce energy waste and consumption.

The UK should cooperate with Euratom. Whether the UK is inside or outside the EU we should aim to cooperate as much as possible with Euratom. Euratom means that the UK can cooperate with the EU on nuclear power more easily and leaving it may also disrupt the transportation of nuclear fuel.

Tax products that use excessive amounts of plastic. This would push consumers to buy products that don’t contain as much plastic and would push producers to reduce their use of plastics. The proceeds from this tax could be used to reduce the existing taxes on products that don’t use plastic or could go towards research to find more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Gradually phase out the UK’s use of nuclear power. We support moving away from nuclear power and towards renewable energy once the UK has reached a net carbon energy supply. To do this we would replace the power generated with other renewable energy sources and battery storage. In the meantime, any new nuclear power stations will only be allowed if they plan to use fuel that would have been otherwise stored as waste either from old reactors or from decommissioned nuclear weapons.

Reward people for recycling plastic bottles. Just like in Norway, we want an extra charge added to the price of plastic bottles which will be refunded when bottles are recycled in machines that will be inside stores. This will be 5p extra for plastic bottles.

A gradual ban on non-electric cars. We would ban the sale of all cars that run using fossil fuels aside from ranger extender hybrid cars by 2030. This would include bans on the sale of petrol, diesel, parallel hybrid cars which have both electric and fossil fuel engines and plug-in hybrids. This would not affect old petrol and diesel cars leaving a market for second-hand petrol cars as working-class families may not be able to afford a blanket ban on all non-electric cars. This also leaves enough time for a second-hand market for electric cars to form.

This would remain in place until it is replaced by a ban on all cars that run using fossil fuels by 2045. This would now include ranger extender hybrid cars, second-hand petrol cars, second-hand diesel cars, second-hand hybrid cars and vintage cars. These cars will either need to be converted to electric cars or taken off the road.

Incentivise electric cars. This would include tax increases on cars with a combustion engine and the revenue from this would be used to pay for tax cuts to electric vehicles. These tax cuts could include tax cuts to reduce the price of purchasing new electric vehicles, subsidised changing, lower fees for parking spaces, reduced registration fees for electric cars and it may also be possible to invest in charging cars using electrified roads. A scrappage scheme for fossil fuel reliant cars is also an option for people moving to electric and range extender hybrid cars.

Work within International Organisations on climate change. Whilst we believe actions to tackle climate change and research taken by the UK alone can help to solve the issue we also need to work at a global level. Unless the levels of pollution drop globally, we can’t fight climate change. We support further agreements such as the Paris Climate Agreement to move forward global action on climate change.

Ban fracking. Fracking both uses up a large amount of water, causes earth tremors and may contaminate water reserves with chemicals. For fracking to be a possible energy source in the future, there needs to be more evidence that water will not be contaminated by fracking and that this operation can be done without large earth tremors. It also still involves investment in burning and removing fossil fuels from the ground when we should be moving towards renewable energy. This would involve changing the Infrastructure Act 2015 to ban fracking totally rather than simply placing limitations on its use.

Wildlife:

  • England and Wales.

Ban all Hunting with Dogs. This should include the hunting of rabbits, hares, deer, foxes, mice and rats. We want to strengthen the 2004 ban on hunting with dogs by increasing the sentences for breaking this law to a prison sentence, by removing the exemption that allows for “Use of dogs below ground to protect birds for shooting” and removing the exemption for “research and observation”. Drag hunting will however remain legal because it does not involve the killing of animals. Instead, the focus should be on reducing the numbers of animals that foxes live off such as excess mice, rats, voles and shrews.

  • England only.

Ban badger culling. Rather than badger culling, which has mixed evidence around its effectiveness, we would support a focus on vaccinations. This would also help in the fight to eradicate tuberculosis. Wales has already moved away from culling to vaccinations.

  • England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Include crustaceans and cephalopods in the definition of animals. This would include crustaceans such as lobsters, krill, barnacles, woodlice, crabs, shrimps, crayfish and prawns. It would also include cephalopods which include squid, cuttlefish, octopus and nautilus. it would also ban practices such as boiling lobsters alive. This would involve updating the Animal Welfare Act of 2006.

  • England and Wales.

Ban the sale and use of snares and glue traps. Both would be banned as they cause animals amounts of pain and suffering tapped for long periods of time by glue or snares before they die. Instead, the focus should be on removing household food sources from these animals along with re-introducing animals to the UK that eat mice and rats which these traps are often used for. This would involve amending the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

  • England only.

Ban cage farming by 2035. Instead, barns and free-range animals should be used with cage faming eventually banned. This would involve changing The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007.

Ban imports of fur. Apart for vintage fur, we would support a ban on importing fur adding to the ban on domestic production of fur. This is based on our concern for how these animals are kept and any action such as this should be alongside action internationally to ban the practice internationally.

  • England and Wales.

Ban the breeding of pheasants where they are used simply for shooting. This is due to the damage it causes to surrounding wildlife and that the birds shot are not always eaten afterwards. To do this, pheasants would be moved from the Game Act 1831 to the “Protection of birds and prevention of poaching” section in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

  • England only.

A large-scale reintroduction program of animals into the UK. To keep populations of rats, mice, voles, rabbits and foxes away from overpopulation, we support the reintroduction of certain animals to the UK. This would include reintroducing or increasing the populations of wildcats, birds of prey and wolves.