Election Manifesto Policies 2024

Find out all you need to know about the energy and climate policies of the major parties for the upcoming election below:

With the recent upheavals in energy prices and security, coupled with the going threat from climate change, energy and climate policies have become a significant part of the UK’s major parties political narratives and ideas.

Conservatives: Pragmatic Progress?

To create a strong economy, the Conservatives have promised to cut the costs of net zero for consumers through a pragmatic approach whilst continuing a commitment to the 2050 target date. Their headline policies include:

  • Licensing annual oil and gas production in the North Sea and avoid a potential of 200,000 job losses.
  • Guaranteeing no new green levies or charges during the rollout of renewables.
  • Maintaining the windfall tax until 2028-2029 to raise £26bn.
  • Provide investment allowances to invest in the North Sea.
  • New gas power stations to avoid blackouts and provide reliable energy.
  • Guarantee a vote in the next parliament on the next stage of the net zero pathway and targets.

To unlock investment the Conservatives have promised:

  • Support industrial clusters through the tripling of offshore wind capacity.
  • Build two carbon capture and storage clusters.
  • Invest £1.1 billion in the Green Industries Accelerator.
  • Scale up Great British Nuclear energy with two new fleets of SMRs.

To offer a pragmatic approach to Net Zero the Conservatives have promised:

  • Rejecting Labour’s dogmatic and top-down approach that will burden consumers with higher bills.
  • Ensure families are given time to make changes which impact their lives and not force boiler replacements with heat pumps.
  • Reform the Climate Change Committee to consider costings in future advice.
  • Maintain the energy price cap and review/reform standing charges.
  • Reviewing pylon arrangements.

Labour: Change and Security?

With the title of their manifesto being “Change”, it is clear what Labour believes a vote for them will mean. However, as well as change, the party also want to create security through boosting cleaner and securer energy. Their headline policies include:

  • Great GB Energy, a publicly owned energy company, capitalised with £8.3bn to help secure cheaper and cleaner energy.
  • Increase the windfall tax by 3 percentage points and close loopholes for investment allowances to fund GB Energy.
  • Create a National Wealth Fund to invest in jobs in industrial industries.
  • Create a Green Prosperity Plan to create 600,000 jobs by 2030.
  • Not issuing new North Sea licenses.
  • Achieving zero carbon electricity by 2030.

To switch on GB Energy Labour have promised:

  • By 2030 to have doubled onshore wind capacity, tripled solar power and quadrupled offshore wind capacity.
  • Upgrade national transmission infrastructure and rewire Britain.
  • Reward clean energy developers with a British Job Bonus allocating up to £500m a year from 2026 to incentivise businesses.
  • Get nuclear projects over the line and utilise SMRs.
  • Use the National Wealth Fund to invest in ports, hydrogen and other renewable technologies.
  • Invest £6.6bn over the next parliament to help improve energy efficiency in UK homes and buildings.

To accelerate net zero progress Labour have promised:

  • Support the introduction of a carbon border adjustment mechanism.
  • Reverse the decision to not give the Bank of England consideration of climate change mandates.
  • Mandating financial institutions to develop and implement transition plans for the 1.5 degrees goal of the Paris Agreement.

Liberal Democrats: A “fair” alternative?

The Liberal Democrats will be hoping to disrupt the two-party system with their manifesto “For a Fair Deal”, which aims to invest in renewable power and home insulation, tackle the climate crisis and hold large companies to account. Their headline policies include:

  • Commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045 at the latest.
  • Drive a rooftop solar revolution by expanding incentives for installation, including a fair sell back to the grid.
  • 90% of electricity to be generated by renewables by 2030.
  • Restore the UK’s role as a global climate leader by returning international development to 0.7% of national income.
  • Implement a proper one-off windfall tax on gas and oil companies.
  • Decoupling electricity prices from wholesale gas prices.

To achieve net zero by 2045, the Liberal Democrats have promised:

  • Meet the Paris Agreement commitment to reduce emissions by 68% from 1990 levels by 2030.
  • Require the National Infrastructure Commission to consider the environmental impacts of infrastructure decisions.
  • Make it cheaper and easier to switch to EVs by the 2030 commitment.
  • Create a joint climate council across all 4 nations to coordinate climate action.

To accelerate renewable power and energy security, the Liberal Democrats have promised:

  • Remove restrictions on new solar and wind power, whilst maintaining a ban on fracking and creating one for new coal mines.
  • Develop grid infrastructure and implement the G7’s pledge to end fossil fuels subsidies.
  • Working with European partners to build sustainable supply chain technology and build more interconnectors between the UK and Europe.
  • Give small low-carbon generators right to export their electricity on fair terms.
  • Require large suppliers to work with community schemes to sell power to local communities, reduce access costs for grid connections and guarantee communities receive a fair share of wealth from local renewables.

Green Party: Radical Change? 

Despite commitments from around the world, the Green Party point to the fact that GHG emissions are still rising and causing greater social and economic impacts. It is for these reasons that they argue for a radical set of energy and climate policies. Their headline policies include:

  • Introduction of a carbon tax, alongside a stronger windfall tax, on fossil fuels that is proportional to GHG produced and will be gradually raised progressively over the next decade.
  • No new oil and gas licenses in the North Sea, ending subsidies and stopping fossil fuel extraction through cancelling projects such as Rosebank.
  • Push ambition for net zero to a decade before 2050.
  • Focus on interconnectors and grid level storage over nuclear to decarbonise the energy system before 2030.
  • Provide 70% of the UK’s electricity from wind by 2030.

To secure renewable energy, the Green Party have promised:

  • Develop renewables to achieve 80GW of offshore wind, 53GW of onshore wind and 10GW of solar by 2035.
  • End the de-facto ban on onshore wind and transform the planning system to protect biodiversity and food supply.
  • Bring the Crown Estate into public ownership and open coastal waters for offshore wind and marine energy.
  • Increase interconnectors with Europe and the use of hydrogen technologies.
  • Create a vaccine style task force to approach clean power and research technologies.

To achieve a just transition to a zero-carbon economy, the Green Party have promised:

  • A minimum threshold for community energy ownership in sustainable infrastructure and the removal of barriers for community energy.
  • Learning the lessons of the 1980s when coal mining and other industries were shut down through collaborating with workers and unions.
  • Establish an offshore energy and skills passport for working transitioning in offshore industries.
  • Investment in skills and training worth £4bn a year.

Reform UK: Ripping Up the Consensus?

Reform UK have made no secret of their scepticism about the net zero agenda, arguing that it has sent energy costs skyrocketing and that they will stand up for a “common-sense” approach to energy and the climate. Their headline policies include:

  • Scrap the net zero target and related subsidies to save the public sector £30bn over the next 25 years.
  • Scrap annual £10bn worth of renewable energy subsidies through equivalent taxes on them.
  • Create cheap and secure energy through the fast-track of North Sea oil and gas licenses, granting shale gas licenses on test sites for 2 years and enabling major production once safety has been proven.
  • Create cleaner energy through fast-track of clean nuclear energy and SMRs, increased and incentivised ethical lithium mining for electric batteries, combined cycle gas turbines, tidal power and clean coal mining.