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2017 Manifesto – Sustainable development

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The long-term health of people depends on a healthy environment, supportive social structures and adequate natural resources. We believe in development that fulfils the needs of the present generation without endangering future generations.

Almost any human activity consumes resources and has both social and environmental effects but we now have the technology to outstrip the planet's natural capacity to regenerate itself. Human induced climate change (HICC) is real and we must act to halt and reverse its effects to the extent that we are able.

Motivating people to take a long-term perspective on everyday decision-making is difficult in a society increasingly consumerist and short-term in outlook. However, most adults desire a better quality of life not only for themselves, but for their children and grandchildren.

The 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change put a price on HICC. It concluded that, without action, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. The poorest, most vulnerable countries and populations will suffer most, although they will have contributed least to the causes of climate change.

Taking steps to protect the environment

  • The UK must redouble its efforts to meet or surpass the most ambitious goals of the Paris Climate conference, and to encourage others to do the same.
  • The global temperature should be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial level (agreed in Paris); it is already at around 0.94 degrees Celsius (NASA).
  • Investment in renewable energy must be promoted. Use of fossil fuels must be phased out relatively quickly, including a ban on fracking.
  • The UK should aim to move to circa 100% renewable energy generation as soon as possible. It is possible: on April 30th this year, Germany generated 85% of its energy from renewables.
  • A clean environment is essential to our health and wellbeing. Both the environment and nature need to be protected from misuse, pollution and unnecessary interference. Government must take urgent steps to tackle the growing crisis in air quality and consequent health problems.

Farming and wildlife

A healthy society needs a healthy environment. We call for a sustainable, life and health enhancing approach to food production, including the production of meat, poultry and dairy produce. Sustainable farming and humane animal rearing is good for animal wellbeing and the environment and, because it also leads to better quality food, is good for human health.

  • We will promote sustainable farming methods and high animal welfare standards.
  • We would support improved labelling of meat, poultry and dairy products to indicate the use of sustainable and humane practices.
  • We would push for an increase in ‘farm gate’ prices for farmers whose livelihoods depend on fair prices for their produce.
  • We would keep existing legislation that limits the pursuit of certain blood sports such as fox hunting.