Vote Green: make the climate crisis a priority

In the general election on the 12th December, 5 candidates are vying to become the MP for the City of Durham constituency. Jonathan Elmer is standing for the Green Party of England and Wales.

argues why you should vote for the Green Party this Election Day.

The Green Party is an important option to consider, not just because of their commitment to combatting the climate crisis, but their forward-thinking policies concerning students and the economy closer to home.

As much as the climate crisis has remained a peripheral issue for British politicians, the Green Party will make combatting it a governmental priority. Since the Greenhouse Effect was first theorised towards the end of the 19th century by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius, climate change has now escalated to a climate crisis.

The Green Party is an important option to consider

It is arguably our initial lack of response that means its impacts are now felt across the globe and in the UK, particularly regarding the increasing summer temperatures year on year, forest fires, melting ice caps, and rising ocean temperature. This demonstrates how we can no longer ignore the issue of climate change, and the Green Party’s aims to invest in green energy and reduce UK carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 are just one way in which they will tackle the problem.

Their economic manifesto – abolishing tuition fees and writing off existing student debt – is particularly appealing to students. As well as this, they aim to increase the living wage to £12 per hour and extend this to young workers between 16 and 21 years old.

Additionally, the Green Party advocates an alternative to traditional linear economy with the circular economy outlined in their manifesto. This is at the heart of the ‘green industrial revolution’ and is based upon maximising the potential of resources and minimising waste, in turn reducing pollutants that arise from fossil fuels by replacing them with renewable alternatives.

It is such a revolutionary response to Climate Change that is now needed. Slight adjustment to the incumbent but broken capitalist system will not change our rapid use of resources sufficiently to avert impending climate disaster.

Their economic manifesto is particularly appealing to students

Tackling the climate crisis as a global issue is an integral element of the Green policies on Brexit, at the heart of which is the notion that Britain is part of a wider global community in the fight against climate change. In light of this, the Green Party aim to facilitate a People’s Vote on the issue of Brexit, for which they will campaign for remain. This is particularly appealing to the current generation of students who, no matter what their stance on Brexit, were too young to have a say in the original referendum in June 2016.

Although the Green Party are unlikely to get into power, an increase in the vote proportion for them will communicate to parliament the ever-pressing nature of the climate crisis. I hope that this, coupled with the rise of youth activism on climate change will force our government to take serious action on this issue that has been overlooked time and time again in favour of more economically lucrative matters.

Image from Kelly Hill via Wikimedia Commons

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