Action on climate change

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing our society. The government must work with charities and voluntary organisations to address it and reduce its impacts.

Climate change intersects with the other themes of this manifesto. It’s an issue that has a knock on effect on all economic and social inequalities. If not addressed now, it will only worsen.

The future vision we have for society is one which is viable, liveable and clean for all. We believe charities play a key role in achieving this. The charity and voluntary sector has contact with all societal groups and communities. It holds collective expertise on how to address the climate crisis and achieve net zero.

Think longer-term

The urgency to address the climate crisis is in the here and now. But we can’t just think in the short term. Tackling the crisis requires longer-term thinking and planning.

We want the next government to:

  • support a just, equitable and green transition. This should be embedded in short and long-term climate plans
  • recognise the impact of climate change on the people charities support. Government should support charities and voluntary organisations to prepare for climate transition
  • ensure a ‘seat at the table’ for organisations who hold the expertise. These organisations should be involved in forming and delivering climate policy
  • evaluate long-term policies to understand the impact they may have on different social groups.

Connect levelling up, social infrastructure and the green agenda

Those who contribute less to the climate crisis are the ones that are impacted the most.

It’s therefore vital that any climate policies connect with policies aimed at levelling up. This includes policies relevant to the net zero transition.

We want the next government to:

  • provide support for the workforce. We need the skills to deliver net zero. Government should create new green apprenticeships and guarantee these are accessible to underrepresented groups. For example, women, disabled people, and people from global majority communities
  • ensure local authorities have the right powers and resources to co-design solutions with the most impacted communities.

Allow community energy to flourish

Community energy is when people act collectively to purchase, manage and generate energy that’s renewable, zero-carbon, local and flexible.

We want the next government to:

  • encourage local authorities to provide planning permission advice and guidance for community projects
  • support energy volunteers and experts to help the government’s energy transition at a local level. Without this support the asset of volunteers will be lost as they find something else to do with their time
  • ensure equal access to the £10m Community Energy Fund. Guarantee ongoing partnership with the charity sector to ensure the funding supports local communities
  • invest in a nationwide street home insulation programme, focusing first on the communities that need it most.

Encourage climate innovation in charities

Charities and voluntary organisations should be supported to innovate in their approaches to climate change.

We want the next government to provide environmental charities with enough funding so they’re able to innovate.

Move away from fossil fuels

Fossil fuels are the largest contributor to global climate change. They account for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

We believe charities divesting from fossil fuels can achieve positive change. But we need government to play its part in this transition.

We want the next government to:

  • support a just transition to a decarbonised economy. This should address the climate crisis while also addressing inequality and improving the quality of life for communities across the UK
  • invest in onshore renewables and guarantee a permanent ban on fracking across the UK.

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This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 18 October 2023