At the #climatehustings on 8 April we asked for views on various aspects of climate change. As this hustings is about pushing climate change up the national agenda we have chosen to focus on those candidates who are polling strongly, where the candidates and their parties with the potential to influence the climate change debate both nationally but as importantly here in Camden. At the time of writing, there are three other registered candidates in Holborn & St Pancras.
Many thanks to Jocelyn Timperley from the Greener Good for allowing us to use her summary.
- Natalie Bennett from the Green Party appears fairly strongly pro most proposed measures to tackle climate change. Her focus is on renewables and their expansion in the UK as soon as possible. She is completely opposed to both nuclear power and fracking in the UK as well as HS2. She wants more working from home and the economy to be balanced more regionally. She wants to tax multinationals and the richest people. She supports an EU referendum – because the Greens support democracy – but is against TTIP, the secretive EU-US trade deal. She supports presumed liability.
- Will Blair from the Conservative Party has focussed on using business to drive solutions to combatting climate change. He thinks we need a diverse mix of energy, including nuclear and shale. He also doesn’t support HS2, unlike his party. He said he’s proud of the Conservative’s tax policy and is against an air passenger duty and fuel duty which he says will hit the poor. He says the Conservatives have opposed a decarbonisation commitment as it would have driven energy prices up, but that their new manifesto will likely have a 2050 target.
- Keir Starmer from the Labour Party says both his and Labour track record on the environment is good. We shouldn’t be wasting time thinking about a referendum to leave the EU and should instead be focussing on building a strong green economy. He supports clear-cut legal national and international emissions targets and has stressed the importance of the Paris COP21 climate summit. Also not too keen in HS2. He wants to clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion but doesn’t support fossil fuel taxes which he’s worried hit the poor. He’s added that the Labour party is committed to decarbonisation of electricity by 2030.
- Jill Fraser from the Liberal Democrats prioritises education about responding to climate change for young people. She wants to encourage people to get out of cars and make the roads safer for cyclists. She’s pro-trains but against construction of the controversial high-speed rail HS2, which she thinks won’t achieve anything. She’s against fracking (though her party isn’t) and wants more of a focus on building energy efficient homes and onshore wind. She thinks a 2050 target for decarbonisation is achievable, but doesn’t want an increase in fuel taxation as she thinks this will hit the poor.