Going Green: Voters are putting environmental issues first

Everyone should be able to breathe cleaner air. Photo: AdobeEveryone should be able to breathe cleaner air. Photo: Adobe
Everyone should be able to breathe cleaner air. Photo: Adobe
Local elections happened across the country at the start of this month. Political persuasion will determine how happy or not anyone is with the outcome, but the facts don’t lie and the results show more than ever people are putting the environment at the heart of the issues that are important to them.

Sadiq Khan increased his majority in London by bringing in policies to help ensure everyone can breathe cleaner air. The Green party increased their number of local elected councillors by 74 taking their tally to 812. In Bristol they became the biggest party on Bristol council but fell just short of an overall majority.

Sam Hall, director of the Conservative Environment Network tweeted “… The party needs to look to the example of @BenHouchen who’s married net zero to economic regeneration…” Ben Houchen is the mayor of Tees Valley. Amongst his other green and environmental successes, in April he announced a new British Steel electric arc furnace would bring hundreds of local steel jobs to the economy.

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Voters are showing consistency with the fact that green pledges matter. Voters care more about environmental plans than ever because people are becoming more aware of the economic and employment benefits and also because citizens are facing a perfect storm of climate issues that are hitting voters pockets and lifestyles hard such as floods reducing food production.

2023 was the UKs second hottest year on record, eight out of the last 12 months have been warmer than average and one in six UK species is at risk of extinction, due to – among other things – habitat loss, human intervention and extreme weather events.

A poll by King’s College London last year found 41 percent of respondents were inclined to support a political party that pledged robust action on climate change.

With a general election imminent – the latest it can happen is January next year – there’s been a lot of talk about net zero and clean air issues and the priorities each party is giving the environment. Googling “party environment policies UK” will bring up each of the political parties and the links to their environmental policies. The electorate is informed, they care about the environment and we know from the local election results the environment is gaining traction. If a safe and sustainable future matters to you, it follows to make a vote based on policies you feel closest to.