Election 2017

Greens: We're only party that puts environment first

Caroline Lucas

The Green Party has pledged new laws to protect Britain's nature, wildlife and countryside in the wake of Brexit.

If elected, it says it would introduce an environmental act to safeguard thousands of EU laws that will disappear when Britain leaves the bloc.

Co-leader Caroline Lucas said the party would also introduce locally owned energy firms and end plastic waste.

Launching its manifesto, she said the Green Party was the only one to put the environment at the heart of policies.

Stressing that the Greens were "different", she said: "We know that our prosperity depends on the natural world - it's the ultimate source of everything we make and use from food and materials to the sinks for our waste.

"Even a digital economy is hugely dependent on raw earth materials and huge amounts of energy.

"Building a successful economy is not at odds with protecting our environment - it's absolutely impossible to build a thriving economy without protecting our environment."

Under the plans, Greens would introduce:

  • A new act to safeguard the thousands of EU laws that protect British nature, wildlife and countryside
  • A green investment centre with borrowing powers to help create and finance the transition to a zero-carbon economy
  • A fair energy system with progressive tariffs so people who use less energy pay less per unit than the big consumers
  • Retro-fitting insulation to nine million homes
  • Empowerment to local communities to create energy and municipal heating projects
  • A bottle deposit scheme to stop 16 million plastic bottles ending up in the environment every day

Ms Lucas added: "The environment has been wilfully ignored by the political mainstream and our climate and our countryside will pay the price of an environment-free election.

"With 2016 the hottest year on record, and a climate-denier in the White House, the need for bold and dynamic action on climate change has never been more urgent."