Taking a Look at the Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Climate and Environment Policy Rankings

28 Jun 2024
Manifesto Climate Rankings

“A high bar on climate and nature”

Taking a Look at the Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Climate and Environment Policy Rankings 


Yesterday, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth released a joint analysis of the four main parties’* manifestos for this General Election. They evaluate 40 policy points in climate and environment accross the spectrum, including topics of  energy, nature restoration and protection, housing and transport, and justice and equality. The manifestos were evaluated agains Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth's 40 policy recommendations which can be found here (Greenpeace). 

The Scores are In

The Liberal Democrats ranked at 31.5/40 as opposed to The Green Party’s near perfect 39/40, Labour an inadequate 20.5/40 and the Conservatives an abysmal 5/40.

Our score was 52% higher than the Labour Party's and 6 times higher than the Conservatives. Clearly we have performed a lot better than Labour and the Conservatives… that’s unsurprising to us! 

In fact, despite us still being a few points short of perfect, the commentary from both organisations is broadly positive, the remark from Greenpeace being:

“The Lib Dems have set a high bar on climate and nature, with a fair approach to the transition that shields those struggling with the cost of living, and recognises the UK’s responsibility to support climate-vulnerable countries around the world.”

Friends of the Earth say:

“The party’s real strength lies in its understanding of the levers available to deliver climate action. From devolving more climate powers to local people to regulating to ensure companies align their activities to a 1.5C world, these policies would put us on a fair path to transition.”

In the categories we did particularly well in, we scored an 8.5/10 on Homes and Transport, and 9.5/10 in Justice and Democracy.

We are generally classed alongside the Green Party as the two most competent parties to lead the way in climate policy - and it says we "have a lot to be proud of”. Accross the board there was high praise, but of course, our approach to the sewage dumping crisis comes out on top, as well as our focus on a Just Transition, and taxation policies. Described by Mike Childs the head of policy at FoE as “Fair and Equitable” - a central Lib Dem value. Our plan for a just tranisition away from the oil and gas industry will ensure that no body is left behind or disadvantaged - our policy promotes the idea that there will always be more jobs available in zero-carbon industries than there are job losses in carbon intensive industries. 

So, where do we fall short?

The main point which has impeded a nearer perfect score is the fact that our manifesto has shied away from making the absolute commitment to not allow new oil and gas. Which is repeatedly cited as our biggest weakness. This led to us being scored only a 6.5/10 in the Climate and Energy section, despite being scored the same as Labour in this section, in fact, they received higher praise on the basis that they did pledge no new oil and gas. 

Of course, it is Lib Dem policy to not grant these new oil and gas licences, and our MPs will continue to vote against them in parliament. Policies in the manifesto do not align with granting new oil and gas, especially if we are to hit our net zero target of 2045. See below from page 36 of the Policy Paper 139 - Tackling the Climate Emergency 

4.2.2 The finance sector needs to operate within a framework that steers resources into climate-friendly investments and away from climatenegative activities. In particular, it should avoid supporting investments that may become stranded assets: activities, such as opening up new oil and gas fields or coal mines, which cannot operate in the long term (and therefore will not deliver returns to investors) if the net zero target is to be met. 

It is of course a policy Green Lib Dems have always been comitted to getting in the manifesto and our team pushed hard for it to be included this year. 

Interestingly we only scored a 7/10 on nature - which may be considered one of our greatest strengths. We were marked down on a lack of commentary on promoting “less climate and nature intensive diets” and not enough action on the banning of destructive fishing practices in Marine Protected Areas.

One and a half points were deducted on the Homes and Transport section, as our manifesto did not match Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth's policy recommendations. Here is my own comparison of the recommendations and our manifesto commitments to show where we did not match. 

  • Capping bus fares outside of London at £1.65 (Our policy upholds the £2 cap) 
  • Free bus travel for young people under 22 (Our policy: Half-fares on buses, trams and trains to 18-year-olds and Introduce a ‘Young Person’s Buscard’, giving 19- to 25-year-olds a third off bus and tram fares.)
  • Bring buses and national railways under public control. (We do not commit to this However, we do call for the creation of a public body, the Railway Agency) 

The loss of half a point in the Justice section was due to a failure to comment on Anti-Worker legislation, the Minimum Service Level bill. Despite not making it in the manifesto, official policy states: 

"Liberal Democrats in Parliament opposed the Government’s Minimum Service Levels legislation at every turn, highlighting that it does nothing to avert disruption or address the understaffing and underfunding of our public services; that it worsens industrial relations and rows back on workers’ rights; and that it’s yet another distraction from the Conservatives’ economic failures." 



Click here to read the shortened reports from both Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. 

Read the FULL Report here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_UtCp0Bzlb4ny3ZGHazCMm-blQHSwlwiqfNp-7Vm9GQ/edit?gid=2046449275#gid=2046449275

Both reports have slightly different analyses, even though they are a joint work.

And read a more general analysis from Greenpeace here.

*(Liberal Democrats, Conservatives, Labour and The Green Party)

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