Parliamentary candidates: what to ask them

If you could ask a potential MP any question on the climate crisis, what would it be?
  Published:  05 Nov 2019    |      2 minute read

Has the climate crisis been on your mind? Are you worried about the state of nature in the UK? Struggling to avoid single-use plastics?

With a General Election looming on 12 December 2019, parliamentary candidates will likely be stepping out in your local area to share their plans should they be elected.

It’s important that all those standing to represent your area can answer your concerns and will take the climate seriously if elected.

So we’ve come up with some questions that might get you started when they come knocking.

What are you going to do about the climate emergency if elected?

Scrutinise what the candidate says. Would they support the inclusion of international aviation and shipping into the UK’s carbon targets?

Will you make action on climate breakdown a deal-breaker in how you vote in Parliament?

It's no good if a parliamentary candidate says they support the climate emergency declaration, but then votes in favour of climate-wrecking policies. Ask them how they'd plan to vote on a variety of issues (for example, are they in favour of ending public financing of coal, oil and gas projects overseas?).

If elected, how will you make public transport cheaper so that we have less dependency on polluting cars and can clean up our air?

Ask if they know of any plans to make your local transport cheaper and greener, and what they're doing to support the plans.

Will you support comprehensive legislation in parliament to phase out non-essential single-use plastics and commit this and future governments to preventing any further plastic pollution from this country?

In April 2020 a ban on single-use plastic straws and cotton buds will come into effect, but that's not enough. Too much plastic - be it packaging or bottles - ends up in our waterways, putting our marine life at risk. What is the candidate planning on doing about it?

Doubling UK tree cover is a key part of transforming the way we use our land and helping stop climate breakdown. How do you plan to support that?

Trees are incredibly important for removing climate-wrecking emissions from the air around us, yet the UK only has 13% tree cover – some of the lowest in the EU. One of the best solutions to achieving net zero and protecting our environment is to double tree cover by 2045, but current government targets fall well short. How does your candidate plan to push for more ambitious targets for trees?

Do you oppose a third runway at Heathrow (and the expansion of other UK airports)?

A third runway will blow our chances of meeting our emissions targets, not to mention the damage to air and increased noise for those living around it. It is incompatible with serious action on climate breakdown, especially targets for Net Zero. Money going into Heathrow could be used to revolutionise public transport across the UK. Does your candidate support a third runway at Heathrow?