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The UK election and the green agenda | Who’s leading the cause?

June 21, 2024

Sustainability and building compliance expert. Specialising in low energy design, SAP, SBEM, BREEAM, and air testing for the construction industry,

Andrew Sadler

As the UK prepares for the next election, we’re looking at how the parties’ policies compare when it comes to the green agenda.

As the race to combat climate change intensifies, the UK’s political landscape is a battleground of green promises and sustainability targets. And with the aim to ‘build back greener’ and reach net zero by 2050, it’s vital that all government parties have a clear, competent stance on climate change and how they would steer the nation towards this critical goal.

Now – with the general election looming on July 4th – we’re looking at each major political party’s recent manifestos and what their positions are on the green agenda.

How do the UK government parties compare in their environmental manifesto pledges?

Whoever wins the General Election has a responsibility to help move the country towards a more environmentally conscious, sustainably sound future. Here we summarise the major parties’ stance on sustainability, how they compare and who is the most focused on building an eco-focused country.

Conservative Party


Approach: The Conservative Party‘s approach is a blend of environmental commitments with a strong focus on economic growth and technological advancements. There is significant emphasis on market-driven solutions and innovation.

Labour Party


Approach: Labour‘s manifesto highlights a more aggressive stance on climate action compared to the Conservatives, with a strong focus on social justice, public ownership and community-led initiatives.

Liberal Democrats


Approach: The Liberal Democrats‘ approach is characterised by ambitious environmental targets, strong support for renewable energy and using market mechanisms like carbon pricing to drive change.

Green Party


Approach: The Green Party‘s manifesto is – unsurprisingly – the most radical in terms of environmental policies, prioritising ecological sustainability and social justice above all else, with detailed plans for systemic change.

Scottish National Party (SNP)


Approach: The SNP emphasises a balanced approach with ambitious but achievable targets, focusing on leveraging Scotland’s renewable energy potential and ensuring a just transition for workers.

Reform Party



Reform – by far – has the least ambitious and most conservative approach to the green agenda. They prioritise economic stability and caution against what they see as overly aggressive environmental policies. 

Which UK party is the greenest?

Looking at each party’s manifesto with regards net zero and the green agenda, there are two standouts when it comes to green credentials. The Green Party has the most comprehensive plans for sustainability, aiming for net zero by 2030 with a strong emphasis on climate justice and systemic change. However, Labour also ranks highly, with their own aims for net zero by 2030 and a big focus on social justice and public ownership.

The Liberal Democrats and SNP have a more moderate sustainable stance – both have ambitious goals but are more balanced, with a market-oriented approach and arguably more achievable targets.

At the bottom of the pack sit the Conservative Party and Reform. While the Conservatives are committed to net zero by 2050, their approach is considerably more market-driven and passive in comparison to the other parties. Reform’s policies are entirely market-driven, and would actually move the country backwards in terms of our mission to create a more sustainable society.

Whichever party is successful at the next general election, only time will tell who stays true to their policy promises. We hope that – whoever it is – the green agenda will stay at the forefront of future decisions, plans and changes.

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