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Local elections 2022: Will election candidates make climate a priority this election? #LE2022

news release

With one day of campaigning to go before the local elections in Greater Manchester,  Manchester Friends of the Earth welcomes the cross-party support from candidates for urgent action on climate change and other environmental challenges facing us locally, nationally and globally. (1)

On Thursday May 5th, people have the opportunity to vote for the local councillors to represent them. The local councillors elected will have to implement solutions to meet the many urgent social and environmental challenges facing us over the next 5 years and beyond.

These include rising energy & transport costs, traffic congestion, access to green space, reducing illegal air pollution levels and the need to drastically reduce climate-wrecking emissions.

Of the candidates who responded, 96% supported a landlord licensing scheme to deliver warmer homes (Q1), with 94% pledging that they would do all they can to ensure the council pension fund ends investment in fossil fuels and invests in a just transition to a zero-carbon economy (Q2)  and 91% supported the introduction of a zero-carbon standard for all new buildings in Greater Manchester from 2023 (Q5).

Each candidate’s  response is available for people to view online (2) and so far, 224 (22%) of the 1017 local candidates have replied. 

Of the candidates who have responded:

93% would support the adoption of the new World Health Organization (WHO) air quality limits in Greater Manchester (Q6).

92% would commit to taking Carbon Literacy training within one year of being elected (Q4).

91% support changes to the planning rules to enable more onshore wind energy production (Q3).

90% would support expanding the dedicated bus lane network in Greater Manchester (Q7). 

90% would do all they can to ensure that every citizen in Greater Manchester has access to green space within 300 metres of where they live (Q10).

84% supported a ban on the use of pesticides and herbicides in your local authority area (Q11).

73% agreed that Greater Manchester should phase out the use of waste incineration (Q12).

72% supported the introduction of a cap on emissions from flights to and from Manchester Airport (Q9).

60% supported a ban on pavement parking in your council area (Q8).

Ali Abbas, Manchester Friends of the Earth joint co-ordinator said:

“We’d like to thank the candidates who took the time to share their views on key issues that affect all our lives, such as air pollution, nature and climate change.

“With time for action rapidly running out, the decisions our councillors make in the coming months will be make or break for the health of local residents and the environment.  

“We wouldn’t dream of telling people which way to vote, but we feel local residents deserve to know whether their candidates would put young people first and act now for a sustainable future.”

Across Greater Manchester response rates for candidates from each political party ranged from: Green Party 57%, Labour Party (26%), Liberal Democrats 26%,  “others” 8% and the Conservative Party 2%.  (3)

Response rates for each local council area ranged from Manchester (46.3%) to Wigan (4.7%). (4)

ENDS

Contact for comments:  Pete Abel, Manchester Friends of the Earth.  Mobile: 07951 642858

Notes for Editors

1)  See https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/election-survey-2022-parties/

2) See  https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/election-survey-2022-candidates/

See https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/local-elections-2022-candidate-survey-questions-and-background-information/ for details of all the survey questions that the candidates were asked and the background information provided for each question
3)  Between 18th April to 3rd May, where we could find contact details for candidates, we directly contacted over 50% of local election candidates via a combination of email and Facebook asking them to respond to the environment survey.  In addition, where contact details were available, local political parties were contacted by email, Twitter or Facebook asking them to circulate details of the election environment survey to all their local candidates.

4) See https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/election-survey-2022—areas/
5) Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on the group’s website: www.manchesterfoe.org.uk. Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. www.foe.co.uk

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