Greener UK Hustings

On 30 May 2017, Greener UK gave spokespeople from the major parties the opportunity to set out their plans for the environment ahead of the general election. The event was jointly hosted by Greener UK in association with Christian Aid and CAFOD.

  1. The speakers, Dr Thérèse Coffey (Conservative), Barry Gardiner (Labour), Baroness Parminter (Liberal Democrats) and Caroline Russell (Green), were challenged on topics including the impact of Brexit on environmental protections, as well as climate leadership, energy efficiency, farming, housing and nature conservation.
  2. The debate was chaired by Clive Anderson, TV and radio presenter, and president of The Woodland Trust.
  3. Clive Anderson "breathless with excitement for chairing this hustings - but that could just be London's poor #airquality..." #greeneruk
  4. The debate began with a question on Brexit...
  5. Q. "Brexit gives us the opportunity to define our own laws. Going forward, where should we be more ambitious than the EU on environmental protections?"
  6. There will be stability as we leave EU because transferring whole environmental acquis into UK law, promises @theresecoffey #greeneruk
  7. Thérèse Coffey said that the UK would maintain its international environmental obligations. She also highlighted huge opportunities for agri-environment schemes and the upcoming 25 year plan for the environment, as well as the the chance to ban the export of live animals for slaughter.
  8. @kateparminter wants UK to be more ambitious than EU on agri policy and land management after #Brexit at #greeneruk hustings #GE2017
  9. Real opportunities for better measuring waste and recycling post Brexit, according to @theresecoffey #GreenerUK #GE2017
  10. At #GreenerUK @CarolineRussell talks about opportunity to improve environmental protections post #brexit but need for clarity #GE2017
  11. EU's "acceptable" level of air pollution is twice what World Health Org recommends - UK regs shd be stronger - @CarolineRussell #greeneruk
  12. "Concern that you're not to be trusted" - Clive Anderson and #GreenerUK debate whether green standards will be weakened post Brexit #GE2107 
  13. @BarryGardiner says we should be working towards an environmental goods agreement under the WTO post Brexit #GE2017 #GreenerUK
  14. Another Brexit related question queried the enforcement of environmental laws when the UK is no longer under the juridisction of the ECJ...
  15. .@RSBenwell asks which policy priorities parties would enshrine in law and which court will enforce those laws outside the EU? #greeneruk
  16. UK & devolved legal systems + parliament will hold govts to account on environmental protections after lose EU's role - Coffey #greeneruk
  17. Full implementation of Aarhus Convention needed and new Office of Environmental Responsibility will be set up says @kateparminter #greeneruk
  18. Interesting suggestion for a simplified (& cheaper) environmental court for UK from @BarryGardiner #GreenerUK
  19. A challenge from Baroness Young: "Could the panel indicate whether they would ensure all EU legislation is ready for adoption on 'day one' through the Great Repeal Bill and not lost in secondary legislation?" - Barry Gardiner and Thérèse Coffey clashed over whether use of secondary legislation is appropriate
  20. 1/3 of EU environmental law not straightforward to transpose into domestic law but govt is looking how to make that work - Coffey #GreenerUK
  21. #GreenerUK Barry Gardiner says there is a huge risk that some legislation will be brought in as secondary legislation, which can be changed
  22. Secondary regs & Henry 8th powers seem an enormous power grab by Whitehall from EC, can civil society cover oversight? #greeneruk #ge2017
  23. Discussion then turned to climate and energy policy...
  24. Q. "What is your party’s plan for turning words on international climate leadership into domestic action?"
  25. Barry Gardiner highlighted that the UK was the only G7 country (excluding the US) to have not spoken out against Donald Trump's threats to pull out of the Paris agreement. He also criticised the government for delaying the clean growth plan.
  26. Gardiner: 'It's a disgrace' that May hasn't called on Trump to back the Paris climate agreement #GreenerUK
  27. Criticism of repeated government delays to Clean Growth Plan from @BarryGardiner - "We need an implementation plan" #GreenerUK #GE2017
  28. #GreenerUK @theresecoffey lauds cycling/walking strategy & electric vehicle funding but @CarolineRussell says EVs won't solve pollution
  29. .@CarolineRussell calls for revolutionising public transport to make it accessible for everyone - couldn't agree more #greenerUK #Ge2017
  30. And then a question on which was better, energy efficiency in homes vs energy price caps?
  31. @kateparminter #greeneruk supports retrofitting millions of homes and also building homes fit for the future.
  32. .@BarryGardiner at #GreenerUK hustings "Energy efficiency is fundamentally the biggest issue that we should be tackling" #GE2017
  33. An audience member asked whether the Conservatives' '1-in-2-out' manifesto commitment on regulation would apply to EU legislation?
  34. Coffey says 1 in 2 out redtape challenge will not apply to EU env regs that come in through #GreatRepealBill #GreenerUK #GE2017
  35. The next question was on the future of farming subsidies...
  36. What are your ideas for replacing the CAP with something which will better protect biodiversity? @MarkAvery asks #GreenerUK hustings panel
  37. Thérèse Coffey: "It's a really exciting time for the relationship between farming and environment for the future, and I think this will be a golden five years when we can develop really long standing plans to make that transition."
  38. .@theresecoffey says we could be entering golden 5 years for developing policies for farming & environment. #GreenerUK #GE2017
  39. Clear consensus across panellists that agricultural subsidy should secure public goods for public money #GreenerUK #GE2017
  40. Good to hear public money for public goods & agri-environment measures underpin all the #GreenerUK responses justifying ££ for farmers
  41. @kateparminter wants money from CAP to go on "a Natural Health Service" with clean water, clean air, access and more #GreenerUK #ge2017
  42. .@CarolineRussell raises soil health as a priority - need to invest in farming that maintains the soil #GreenerUK
  43. .@BarryGardiner absolutely right to warn the cliff edge danger of WTO trade rules for farmers & rural communities #greeneruk #ge2017
  44. The conversation then turned to housing and nature conservation...
  45. Q. "How can parties protect the environment while delivering on home building commitments in manifestos?"
  46. #GreenerUK Barry Gardiner says local council planning Dept's have been badly cut/depleted in recent years. Labour will put some funding in
  47. #GreenerUK new housing location? All speakers prefer brownfield to greenfield, but vague on how to make this work in practice
  48. #greeneruk @ericapopplewell asks how to build the homes we need while safeguarding the environment. Broadly encouraging answers!
  49. Then the chair asked, "Why has the commitment from the 2015 Conservative manifesto to protect sites of special scientific interest been left out this years' manifesto?"
  50. Conservative manifesto doesn't mention SSSIs but they're already in planning policy framework so no cause for concern - Coffey #greeneruk
  51. Thérèse Coffey: "It's a done deal. Not everything needs to be repeated from manifesto to manifesto."
  52. Barry Gardiner was also challenged on the lack of Labour manifesto commitment to a 25 year plan for the environment, to which he replied there would be announcements soon.
  53. .@BarryGardiner suggests there will be more @UKLabour policy announcements on the environment in the coming days #GreenerUK #GE2017
  54. And the final challenge from the chair: "Environment is a vital issue, but isn't at the forefront of political thinking- why not?" sparked responses from speakers on the need to engage the public better.
  55. We want to pop out for a pint of milk without feeling chesty. Ppl now seeing how enviro policy impacts lives #GreenerUk @CarolineRussell
  56. @CarolineRussell And @kateparminter calls on civil society to act to engage a wider public - and to lose the lobbying act which limits them #greeneruk
  57. 'It doesn't stop Shell' — Barry Gardiner echoes call to review Lobbying Act in closing remarks #GreenerUK
  58. Stanley Johnson had the last word, asking why the ivory trade ban was dropped from the 2015 Conservative manifesto, and which party could persuade him to vote for them.
  59. Conservative manifesto talks broadly about protecting species & habitats, not just the "sexy" ones, says @theresecoffey #greeneruk #GE2017
  60. #GreenerUK @theresecoffey says the govt will proceed with the ivory sale ban, even tho not in manifesto #GE2017 cc @DeborahMeaden
  61. Stanley Johnson jokes he's not sure how to vote. @kateparminter says "listen to the ladies in your household" #GreenerUK #GE2017
  62. And that's a wrap...
  63. Excellent chairing from Clive Anderson tonight - some brilliant quips and challenge to all the parties. Bravo. #GE2017 #greeneruk
  64. Watch the full event here:
  65. General Election 2017 Greener UK Hustings
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