One topic that was not discussed in the historic General Election Live Debate last Thursday (15/04/2010), was how important green issues are as well as the environment. The following day during ‘Morning’s with Joanne Malin on BBC WM one of the topics discussed was ‘do green issues have a part in today’s economy?’ You can listen to the show by clicking here. You only have until 23/04/2010 to listen to the show on BBC IPlayer.

Downing Street

Green and environmental issues appear not to be one of the top priorities for the main three parties. Are they important?

These are some of the promises that are featured in the manifesto’s in terms of the ‘Environment’

Labour

  • Achieve around 40 per cent low-carbon electricity by 2020
  • 400,000 new green jobs to be created by 2015.
  • Making greener living easier and fairer through ‘pay as you save’ home energy insulation
  • Dismissing recyclable and biodegradable materials from landfill

Conservatives

  • Work towards zero waste
  • Provide more incentives to recycle
  • Encourage sustainable water management
  • Offer every home a Green Deal
  • Transform electricity networks with ‘smart grid’ and ‘smart meter’ technology
  • Increase offshore wind and marine power

Liberal Democrats

  • Insulating all homes to a good standard within 10 years
  • A target for 40 per cent of electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020 rising to 100 per cent by 2050
  • Invest £140 million in a bus scrappage scheme to replace old, polluting buses
  • Block any new coal-fired power stations
  • Rejecting a new generation of nuclear power stations

On the show there were three guests. Joe Peacock  from the Birmingham Friends of The Earth, Steve Lines from Transitions and Stuart Bowles from Northfield Eco Centre.

Some of the topics discussed were:

  • Greenhouse issues
  • Solar Panels
  • Solar Water heating Panels
  • Environmental and green issues within the three main parties manifestos.
  • Climate Change

Listening to the show, I thought to myself maybe these issues should be at the forefront and that they do have a major role in today’s economy. One point I thought was interesting was the fact that the Northfield Eco Centre have Tetra Recycling facilities for Tetra packs, batteries etc. The government only recycle certain things that are found on the doorstep. The Eco Centre aim to help the local community as well as those living in the South Birmingham area.

All three guests believed that the Liberal Democrats are closest in terms of what we should be achieving to cut down emissions. A Green Investment Bank has been proposed by both the Conservatives and the Labour parties. The Chancellor Alistair Darling announced he would put £2 bllion towards it but Peacock from Birmingham Friends of The Earh stated that more money needs to be put forward.

Let me know what you think. Should green issues be a top priority for the main political parties?

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