Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (2024)

  • Overall scores
  • Party strengths and weaknesses
  • Rankings by issue
  • Tactical voting

There’s a general election on Thursday 4 July. But who should you vote for?

To help you cut through the political spin, we’ve teamed up with Friends of the Earth to comb through the parties’ manifestos and reveal who’s really standing up for the future of our planet.

Everyone has to make their own choice about how to vote. But if climate and nature is a priority for you, we hope you find it helpful.

Overall manifesto rankings

Parties’ scores are based on the strength of the climate and nature commitments in their manifestos and other major policy announcements. Who came out on top?

RankPartyPoints (\40)
1Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (1)Green Party39
2Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (2)Liberal Democrats31.5
3Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (3)Labour20.5
4Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (4)Conservatives5

Who should I vote for?

It depends on where you live, and what matters most to you.

The way the UK’s voting system works means that in many places, only two parties stand a chance of winning.

So if it is a tight race between the two leading parties in your area, you might want to vote for the one that scores highest and can win (even if you don’t find them very inspiring). This is called tactical voting.

For example, many seats will be a close contest between Labour and the Conservatives. And despite their shortcomings, we scored Labour four times higher and found a big difference between the two parties’ plans.

Learn more about tactical voting.

Equally, you might prefer to vote for the party that best reflects your views, so as to register your support for them in the final vote share. It’s your vote and your choice!

How the scores are calculated

Criteria

First, we created a list of the 40 most important things a UK government could do for climate and nature.

Sources

Experts from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth read each party's published manifestos and analysed their policies.

Scoring

Parties scored one point for each policy they've committed to – or half a point for a partial commitment.

See the best and worst bits of the Conservative, Green, Labour and Lib Dem manifestos. Where did each party deliver, and where did they fall short?

Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (5)

Conservatives

Is Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party good for climate and nature? After more than a decade in power, their approach to the issue has shifted over time. Here are the Conservatives’ strengths and weaknesses on green issues.

Weaknesses

Want to issue more oil and gas licenses
Not enough action on sewage pollution in rivers and seas
Barely any action on cold homes
Little investment in public transport
No real plan to boost nature protection

Overall score: 5/40

Greenpeace analysis

“Will drive us further into crisis”

The Conservative Party’s manifesto is worrying reading.

They’re doubling down on oil and gas when increased dependence on gas will result in higher bills, more energy price shocks and an increase in climate-wrecking emissions.

It’s good news that they would ratify the Global Ocean Treaty swiftly, but there’s no credible plan to stop sewage in our rivers and seas.

They’re promising new gas plants and more dependence on the very fossil fuels that caused the cost of living crisis. This will only result in higher bills, more energy insecurity and increase our climate-wrecking emissions.

Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (6)

Green Party

The environment is their signature issue, but is the Green Party of England and Wales really green? Here are the best and worst bits of their green offering to voters.

Strengths

+Ambitious investment in renewables, warm homes and green transport
+Plan for a just transition away from polluting industries
+Proper support for developing countries to deal with growing climate impacts
+Fair support for a transition to green farming
+Excellent plans for tackling sewage pollution and protecting nature

Weaknesses

Not clear how they would help the poorest households dealing with high energy bills

Overall score: 39/40

Greenpeace analysis

“Topping the ranking with ambitious plans”

There is no long term prosperity or security for anyone without tackling the climate and nature crisis, and the Green Party manifesto clearly recognises this.

Topping the ranking, the Green Party has an ambitious plan to invest in renewables, green homes, better public transport, nature restoration and fair support for green farming. There is also support for developing countries to deal with growing climate impacts.

We keep hearing from the main parties that there’s no money to fund vital services and climate action, but that’s clearly not true. The Green party proposes funding its investments through wealth taxes, taxes on polluting companies and borrowing.

The super-rich have the broadest shoulders, and they are also responsible for the most climate damage. It’s only right that they pay more towards upgrading our homes, infrastructure and public services.

Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (7)

Labour Party

Does the Labour Party under Keir Starmer have good green policies? Here are their strengths and weaknesses on climate and nature.

Strengths

+No new oil and gas licenses
+Rapid renewable energy roll-out
+Plans for green homes
+Tackling zero hours contracts

Weaknesses

Sewage pollution plan doesn’t go far enough
Not enough action on industrial fishing
Not enough action on plastic pollution
No promise to reverse anti protest laws

Overall score: 20.5/40

Greenpeace analysis

“Promising climate commitments”

Promising climate commitments from the Labour Party include the creation of Great British Energy to boost clean energy projects across the country and lower bills, as well as investment in green homes, and an end to new oil and gas licences. Plans to ban zero hour contracts and boost workers’ rights will also help ensure new green jobs are secure and good quality.

However, their investment in the green transition doesn’t go far enough. You can’t deliver real change with spare change.

Repairing our crumbling public services, restoring nature and supporting vulnerable communities facing climate impacts is going to require more government investment.

Labour’s policies on tackling industrial fishing and plastic pollution also don’t go far enough.

Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (8)

Liberal Democrats

How strong are the Lib Dems’ green policies? Here are their strengths and weaknesses on climate and nature.

Strengths

+Excellent plans for stopping sewage pollution in our rivers and seas
+Tackling private jets and emissions from flying in a fair way
+Making public transport cheaper
+More support for developing countries

Weaknesses

May allow new oil and gas licenses in the UK
Vague plans on international ocean protection

Overall score: 31.5/40

Greenpeace analysis

“A high bar on climate and nature”

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.

They show willing to invest in warmer homes, public transport, renewable energy and essential services, with fair tax reforms, even taking on the UK’s private jet-setters and casino bankers where necessary. The super-rich bear a far greater responsibility for the carbon already heating our planet, and together with polluting companies they should pay a much greater share of the costs.

The lack of courage in confronting the fossil fuel industry’s relentless drive for more gas, more oil and more plastic is a glaring weakness. And more detail on the fiscal side would be welcome.

Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (9)

Scottish National Party

We didn’t score the SNP because many of the overall scoring criteria apply UK-wide, and it wouldn’t be fair to judge a Scotland-specific party by this standard. However, their manifesto is still full of important policy commitments to try to win your vote. So we’ve taken a look and analysed their offer for you.

Strengths

+Extensive plans to reduce poverty
+Expanding public ownership of rail
+Commitment to help oil and gas workers into green jobs

Weaknesses

Reversed pledge to end new oil and gas drilling
Lacking clear plans to deliver on climate targets
Lacking leadership on nature protection

Overall score: Not scored

Greenpeace analysis

“We need real plans, not warm words”

Overall, this SNP manifesto is lacking the decisive leadership on climate – and nature protection in particular – that we have known in the past from the SNP. Although we have had assurances from the party that they would support further important policies such as speedy ratification of the Global Ocean Treaty into UK law, and the Global Plastics Treaty, their engagement on these issues has been very light and they have not provided us with any detail.

What’s more, back in April of this year the Scottish government said that they would repeal parts of its Climate Change Act, following the assessment of the Climate Change Committee that the government would no longer meet its statutory 2030 goal to reduce emissions by 75%. This was due to insufficient action from the Scottish government over many years – including in devolved areas for which it has sole responsibility. The commitments made in many areas sound good, but we need to see real plans, and much more detail, to achieve real progress. Only then can we have proper confidence that the SNP means action, not just warm words.

Party manifestoFull analysis

Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (10)

Plaid Cymru

We didn’t score Plaid Cymru because many of the overall scoring criteria apply UK-wide, and it wouldn’t be fair to judge a Wales-specific party by this standard. However, their manifesto is still full of important policy commitments to try to win your vote. So we’ve taken a look and analysed their offer for you.

Strengths

+A commitment to a Green New Deal for Wales
+Strong plans for better buses and trains
+A fairer tax system, including a wealth tax
+Social tariff for energy

Weaknesses

Inadequate plans to deliver net zero targets
Lacking a strong vision for nature

Overall score: Not scored

Greenpeace analysis

“Good policies, but missing key information”

Plaid Cymru have recognised in their manifesto that “the climate and nature emergencies are the biggest threat to mankind on a global scale”. While light on key details, their ambitious targets on things like net zero, economic fairness and green infrastructure shows exactly the kind of high-level commitment we want to see.

Overall, Plaid has some good policies for both people and the planet. But their manifesto is missing the key information of how they would deliver, and pay for, the planet-saving policies they’ve identified.

Party manifestoFull analysis

From solar to sewage, see how the parties compare on the issues that matter most to you.


To keep things simple, we can boil all those green policies down to four key areas.

Climate and energy
Nature and environment

Homes and transport
Justice and democracy

Let’s dig into each area and see how the parties performed.

Climate and energy

Which party has the best policies to cut emissions, fix the grid, and make the most of the UK’s amazing renewable resources?

RankPartyPoints (max10)
1Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (11)Green Party10
2Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (12)Labour6.5
2Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (13)Liberal Democrats6.5
3Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (14)Conservatives1.5
See scoring criteria

Parties were judged against this list of ideal climate and energy policies. They scored one point for each policy they’ve committed to – or half a point for a partial commitment.

  1. Produce a new comprehensive and fair climate plan to ensure international and domestic greenhouse gas reduction targets are met, inequalities are reduced and the UK is developing the green industries and jobs of the future. This should be delivered through emissions reduction at source – rather than through offsetting or unproven carbon removal techniques, and existing laws, regulation and guidance in England should be brought fully in-line with emissions reduction targets, climate adaptation plans and nature restoration goals.
  2. Increase long-term funding, powers and flexibility for councils and regional mayors in England so that they can and are required to deliver climate and nature goals and better involve local people – especially the most marginal and those most impacted by environmental harms – in policy design and delivery.
  3. Introduce new regulations to require companies and financial institutions to align their activities with the 1.5°C goal in the Paris Agreement and the Global Biodiversity Framework – including mandating key sectors to disclose their impacts on nature and publish Nature Positive Plans, without relying on offsets.
  4. Update rules for borrowing from the first year of a new government to allow investment on the scale needed for growth-generating green infrastructure.
  5. At least maintain the UK’s existing commitment to international climate finance of £11.6bn over the five year period of 2021/22 to 2025/26, ensuring all funds are provided from genuinely new and additional sources, are not derived from the international aid or development budgets, and are predictable, needs-based and largely grant-based. And immediately restore and maintain the budget for Official Development Assistance to 0.7% of Gross National Income.
  6. Provide significant new and additional sources of public finance for international climate finance beyond 2025/26. Finance to support workers and communities dealing with climate impacts at home and abroad should be raised through taxing oil and gas companies more (including their trading activities), and through redirecting fossil fuel production subsidies.
  7. Decarbonise the grid well before 2035, achieved through at least 10-14GW of new renewables every year of which at least 5GW should be offshore wind; removing unfair planning rules blocking onshore wind in England, and fast tracking electricity grid upgrades in harmony with nature and ensuring community benefits. Support new green job creation through providing at least £4bn of investment in ports and supply chains to support floating offshore wind.
  8. Commit to no new nuclear; and redirect subsidies for biomass to genuinely non-emitting and renewable energy sources that are at the very least not in competition with nature restoration (and where possible helping to enhance nature and food production).
  9. Commit to an immediate end to all new planning permissions, licences and permits for onshore and offshore fossil fuels, and rule out carbon capture and storage for fossil fuels and bioenergy.
  10. Ban new or expanding factory farms; set an absolute target to reduce meat and dairy consumption by at least 50% by 2030; support the development of alternative proteins without increasing feed crop land; and use government procurement to support more healthy, flexitarian and plant-based diets.

Nature and environment

Which party will do the most to tackle sewage in our rivers, cut plastic pollution and protect nature around the world?

RankPartyPoints (max10)
1Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (15)Green Party9
2Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (16)Liberal Democrats7
3Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (17)Labour5
4Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (18)Conservatives1.5
See scoring criteria

Parties were judged against this list of ideal nature and environment policies. They scored one point for each policy they’ve committed to – or half a point for a partial commitment.

  1. Significantly increase powers, as well as funding for regulators (to at least 2010 levels in real terms) so they have the staff, financial resources and skills to enforce standards.
  2. Set legal targets for eliminating sewage spills in ecologically sensitive areas and designated bathing waters by 2030; ban water ban water company shareholder dividends and bonus payments; and significantly invest in upgrading sewage treatment infrastructure while taking a government share in water companies. Ensure low-income households are protected from water bill rises by introducing a social tariff for water.
  3. Set and deliver legal targets to eliminate non-essential single-use packaging by the late 2030s and a 30% reuse target by 2030, including through immediately implementing an all-in Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for recycling and reuse and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) requirements that promote reuse and packaging reduction. Alongside this, commit to a complete ban on all plastic waste exports by 2027 at the latest, and ending approvals for new incineration facilities.
  4. Commit to the planning and other policy changes required to meet and exceed the Environment Act target on species abundance, in order to halt and begin to reverse the decline of wild species and fully or highly protect at least 30% of UK land and oceans by 2030. This should include more SSSI designations, new obligations and rewards for landowners to manage protected sites better for nature, a new ‘Public Nature Estate’ duty on public bodies to restore habitats in land they own and sea they manage, and at a minimum maintaining and properly implementing the Habitats Regulations that have protected our most important wildlife sites and species for the last 30 years.
  5. Double the annual budget for nature-friendly agro-ecological farming and land management to at least £6 billion a year, with no delay to the roll-out of new farm payment systems delivering on the principle of public money for public goods, to improve nature’s richness, soil quality, resilience to climate change and flood protection across most agricultural land; and set a statutory target to reduce pesticide use and risk by 50% by 2030.
  6. Agree a plan with the forestry industry, conservationists and farmers to significantly increase woodland, including for domestic timber production, to avoid harmful imports, and put the UK on the path to doubling tree cover by 2050, including more trees in our cities for heat resilience and wellbeing.
  7. Make a binding commitment not to allow fishing above scientifically recommended sustainable levels; immediately ban all industrial fishing in Marine Protected Areas through applying vessel licence conditions, and allocate fishing opportunities on the basis of environmental, social and local economic criteria.
  8. Introduce a new UK Business, Human Rights and Environment Act to require UK companies to carry out due diligence to prevent environmental damage and human rights abuses in their supply chains, alongside tightening and extending existing due diligence obligations in the Environment Act to tackle both illegal and legal deforestation in supply chains.
  9. Ratify the new UN Global Ocean Treaty by the end of 2024; advocate for the establishment of a network of ocean sanctuaries covering at least 30% of global oceans by 2030, including the Sargasso Sea as part of the first set of designations under the treaty; and support a ban or moratorium on deep sea mining.
  10. Support an ambitious UN Global Plastic Treaty to deliver the following: phase out virgin plastic production; end single-use plastic; end pollution across the whole lifespan of plastic; and support a just and inclusive transition to a low-carbon, zero-waste, reuse-based economy, standing up to the vested interests in the petrochemical industry.

Homes and transport

Who has the strongest ideas to bring down bills, save energy, and build a public transport system that works for everyone?

RankPartyPoints (max10)
1Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (19)Green Party10
2Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (20)Liberal Democrats8.5
3Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (21)Labour4.5
4Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (22)Conservatives1.5
See scoring criteria

Parties were judged against this list of ideal housing and transport policies. They scored one point for each policy they’ve committed to – or half a point for a partial commitment.

  1. Provide a minimum of £4bn a year to aid skills development, retraining and job creation, particularly in areas most in need of just transition investment; and increase obligations on green industry, such as renewables and heat pumps, to grow supply chains and guarantee more good quality, secure UK jobs.
  2. Invest at least £6bn of public funds annually on average over 10 years to deliver a national home retrofit programme, starting in areas most in need; and introduce regulations to increase the energy efficiency of private rented-sector homes and social housing to at least Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) C rating by 2028, including with safeguards for tenants, EPC C for fuel poor homes by 2030, and at least EPC B for non-residential buildings by 2030.
  3. Implement and enforce the existing Future Homes Standard from 2025, with freedom for local authorities to be more ambitious where appropriate, and introduce regulations for all new buildings to meet net zero energy for all uses by 2030, including mandating solar on new buildings.
  4. Electrify heating through measures to ensure at least 900,000 heat pumps are fitted each year by 2028, and provide at least £1bn per year additional public funding to help ensure low-income homes don’t need to contribute to the cost, and that for others the cost is not greater than a boiler replacement. Blue hydrogen for building heating should be ruled out.
  5. Ensure energy is affordable now and in the future through the immediate introduction of a social tariff for low-income families, alongside other measures to significantly reduce poverty.
  6. Bring buses and national railways under public control – through franchising buses and nationalising the railways. Alongside this, use money freed-up by scrapping multi-billion-pound new road building plans, alongside around an extra £8-10bn/yr public investment to boost bus, rail and cycling infrastructure expansion and electrification.
  7. Recommit to phasing out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 and ban diesel HGVs before 2040. Alongside this, generate investment for 10 battery gigafactories by 2040, increase funding for an expanded EV charging network, and increase the mandate for local authorities and electricity networks to roll it out.
  8. Ban overall expansion of airport capacity, curtail extensive flying through a frequent flyer levy, ban private jets and short haul flights, and introduce taxes on kerosene.
  9. Commit at least an extra £1bn/yr to help make public transport the cheapest option through indefinitely capping single bus fares outside of London at a maximum of £1.65 and providing free bus travel for everyone under the age of 25.
  10. Commit to update air quality limits to bring them in line with World Health Organization levels as soon as possible. Action should be prioritised in areas where there’s a higher concentration of vulnerable people (eg schools and hospitals), including through well designed Clean Air Zones and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to restrict the dirtiest vehicles from the most polluted places. This should be accompanied by a £1.5 billion per year scrappage scheme to enable drivers to switch to cleaner vehicles or public transport, and setting a target to cut car miles by 25% by 2030.

Justice and democracy

Which party will do the most to protect our rights, build a fairer economy and stand up for the most vulnerable around the world?.

RankPartyPoints (max10)
1Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (23)Green Party10
2Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (24)Liberal Democrats9.5
3Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (25)Labour4.5
4Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (26)Conservatives0.5
See scoring criteria

Parties were judged against this list of ideal justice and democracy policies. They scored one point for each policy they’ve committed to – or half a point for a partial commitment.

  1. Ensure all new trade deals are negotiated transparently, with public and parliamentary scrutiny, and do not undermine current or future climate change, nature, food, farming and human rights standards or obligations.
  2. Commit to raising wealth and property taxes on the super-rich, for example the richest 1% of Britons with a total wealth of £2.8tn, to tackle inequality and fund the measures needed to ensure the green transition is fair for everyone, for example by eradicating fuel poverty and ensuring public transport enables all to access jobs and services.
  3. Revoke the anti-strikes legislation and the Trade Union Act 2016; and lead a just transition strategy, in collaboration with empowered local authorities, businesses, workers, their unions and other relevant stakeholders.
  4. Introduce into UK law a new human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, as recognised by the UN General Assembly. Incorporated into this should be the environmental rights set out in the UN Aarhus Convention on the right to know, public participation and access to justice.
  5. Support a Scottish-style Right to Roam across the whole of the UK, extending public access to woodlands, rivers and green rural spaces, and invest at least £2bn over the next Parliament to create new jobs and training in habitat restoration.
  6. Revoke the Public Order Act but while still ensuring legislative measures are in place to support buffer zones to protect women using abortion clinics from harassment; revoke the Public Order Act 1986 (Serious Disruption to the Life of the Community) Regulations 2023; and revoke the Police, Courts and Sentencing Act.
  7. Guarantee the independence of the Electoral Commission by repealing the sections of the Elections Act 2022 which allow government to direct the Commission; and reform the Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 to ensure civil society can participate transparently without facing complex regulatory barriers. Alongside this, scrap voter ID.
  8. Give 16–17-year-olds the vote and introduce proportional representation for Westminster elections. Younger people are among the most significantly affected by environmental degradation and their voices aren’t properly heard in decision-making.
  9. Safeguard the Human Rights Act and the UK’s membership of the European Convention on Human Rights; and uphold and be a champion for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and land rights in all domestic policy and international fora.
  10. Adopt an actively welcoming policy towards refugees and people displaced by environmental disasters and the climate crisis – including adopting a safe and legal environmental visa scheme and a legal right to stay; and repeal the Illegal Migration Act and the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Act 2024.

To have the biggest impact with your vote, you'll need to consider who can win in your area, not just who's best overall. Here's how you can work it out.

Should I vote tactically?

This election is the best shot we have at electing a government that’s up to the job of tackling the climate and nature crisis.

The way the UK’s voting system works means that in many places, only two parties stand a chance of winning. Because of this, voting for the highest-scoring party overall won’t necessarily deliver any extra seats for that party.

So if your area is a close race between the two leading parties, you might want to vote for the party that scores highest and can win in your area (even if you don’t find them very inspiring). This is called tactical voting.

Or you might prefer to vote for the highest-scoring party regardless, to show your support for them in the final vote share – it’s your vote, and your choice!

How it works

If you do want to vote tactically, you can use the Electoral Calculus site to see which parties have the best chance of winning in your area.

Here’s an example from Suffolk Central and Ipswich North.

Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (27)

In a seat like this, voting tactically would mean voting Labour, because other, higher-scoring parties are extremely unlikely to win here.

Here’s another example, from Wells and Mendip Hills.

Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (28)

In a seat like this, voting tactically would mean voting for the Lib Dems because the Lib Dems’ positions are much stronger than the Conservatives’ on these issues.

And here’s one final example from South Shields.

Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (29)

In a seat like this, the polls suggest that only one party can win, so there’s no opportunity to make a difference with tactical voting. Follow your heart!

Understand your local election race

Now it’s your turn. Enter your postcode below to see the Electoral Calculus prediction for your constituency – then make your choice!

Hitting submit will take you to the prediction page for your postcode on the Electoral Calculus website. Greenpeace won’t store or share the data you enter on this form.

Election 2024: which party is best on climate and nature? | Greenpeace UK (2024)
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