Election UK 2015 – where is sustainability?

Now that it’s confirmed that the Tories have got back in for another few years, it seems like a good time to look at what that might mean from a sustainability perspective. First stop is the new government’s 2015 election manifesto:

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/manifesto2015/ConservativeManifesto2015.pdf

A simple search for the word “sustain” in the above document reveals only one reference, specifically to managing fisheries “sustainably”. This is a huge contrast to their 2010 manifesto, where sustainability was all over the place; I counted 28 uses of “sustain” in the earlier document. Searching for the word “green” in the 2015 manifesto proved more successful, registering 14 hits. However, they’re mostly references to the “Green Belt”, which refers to green spaces in urban areas. The manifesto specifically pledges to “halt the spread of onshore windfarms” and promises to invest in shale gas, North sea oil and nuclear instead.

It seems that sustainability is out of vogue with the 2015 Tories, and as the article below tells us, Cameron is obviously determined to “cut the ‘green crap'”. This article, from the Torygraph itself, compares the environmental policies of the main parties:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/11461278/Environment-Election-2015-party-policies.html

Although its academic now, it’s interesting to compare the Labour manifesto to that of the Tories. Labour talked a little bit more about sustainability (a search for “sustain” throws up 6 matches) and refer to international development and the impact of climate change on the poor:

http://www.labour.org.uk/page/-/BritainCanBeBetter-TheLabourPartyManifesto2015.pdf

Finally, the Greens have retained their single seat, with Caroline Lucas registering an emphatic victory in her constituency in Brighton. The party also got over a million votes across the UK. Here’s their manifesto, which makes an interesting comparison with those of the big two. Whether their policies would have worked in practice is a different question, and this point is considered eloquently in the article I’ve provided a link to below. I suppose we’ll have to wait another while to find out…

https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/manifesto/Green_Party_2015_General_Election_Manifesto_Searchable.pdf

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/14/green-party-manifesto-labour

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