After the warmest year on record, a general election has been called in the UK for July 4, 2024.

While the global temperature record streak has continued, with February 2024 the warmest February on record in England and Wales and April 2024 warmer globally than any previous April in the data record, Venezuela became the first country in modern times to lose all of its glaciers, and Rio Grande do Sul, populated by almost 11 million people, suffered the most extensive climate-fueled catastrophe in its history.

As António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, said at a climate summit in New York in 2023, humanity has “opened the gates to hell” by allowing the climate crisis to worsen.

Despite this, the climate crisis has been on the back burner when it comes to campaigning so far. There has been a greater focus on the economy, the high cost of living, and Britain’s struggling healthcare system. 

Yet, the UK is missing its climate targets on nearly every front according to its government's advisors. In June 2023, Lord Deben, the outgoing chair of the Climate Change Committee, said the UK had “lost the leadership” shown on climate action at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021. He added that the government had made several decisions — such as granting hundreds of new North sea oil and gas licences — that were “utterly unacceptable.”

The stakes are high. The next elected government will be required to get the country back on track to meet its net zero targets under the Paris agreement.

Voting still remains crucial in ensuring that critical issues such as climate change are prioritised by political leaders and that people’s voices are being heard.

Here’s what you need to know to ensure your voice is heard in the upcoming election.

When do I vote?

Polling stations are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday July 4, 2024.

If you’ve chosen to vote by post, return your postal ballot pack by 10 p.m. on July 4. If there isn't enough time to return it by post, you can hand it in at your local polling station.

Where do I vote?

Your polling station will be listed on your polling card, which is sent to you before an election. Enter your postcode to find your polling station. You must vote at your assigned polling station.

What do I bring?

You must bring a valid form of photo ID. There are many different acceptable forms of ID which you can find on the Electoral Commission website.

Who can I vote for?

You will vote for a local MP in your constituency who will then represent you in Westminster. Your constituency will have several candidates that you can vote for. Enter your postcode to find out who they are

Where do the political parties stand on the climate crisis?

The Conservative and Unionist Party

Current Leader: Rishi Sunak

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has attacked “unaffordable eco-zealotry” and has continued the negative framing of climate action that he has been using since announcing delays to a number of policies in 2023.

How the Conservative party plans to tackle the climate emergency:

  • Work with Small Island Development States, including leaders from the Commonwealth in the Caribbean and the Pacific, to access finance for climate change adaptation and resilience.
  • Invest £1.1 billion into the Green Industries Growth Accelerator to support British manufacturing capabilities, boost supply chains, and ensure energy transition is made in Britain. 
  • Keep issuing licences for North Sea oil and gas extraction. 
  • Invest in green technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

Read the full manifesto.

The Green Party

Current Leaders: Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay

According to an analysis from environmental charities Greenpeace UK and Friends of the Earth, the Green party’s manifesto plans for climate and nature scored 39 out of 40.

How the Green party plans to tackle the climate emergency:

  • Transition to a zero-carbon society as soon as possible, and more than a decade ahead of 2050.
  • Cancel all recently granted licenses — such as the Rosebank oil and gas field — and pledge to stop all new fossil fuel extraction projects in the UK.
  • Supply 70% of the UK’s electricity through wind by 2030.
  • Invest £9 billion in low-carbon heating for homes.
  • Ensure communities own their own energy sources and that they can use any profit from selling excess energy to reduce their bills or benefit their communities.
  • Introduce a new Rights of Nature Act, “giving rights to nature itself.”

Read the full manifesto.

The Labour Party

Current Leader: Keir Starmer

One of Labour’s five “missions” says it will: “Make Britain a clean energy superpower to cut bills, create jobs and deliver security with cheaper, zero-carbon electricity by 2030.”

How the Labour party plans to tackle the climate emergency:

  • Set up Great British Energy — a publicly owned company that Labour says will invest in new technologies such as floating offshore wind.
  • Stop issuing any new North Sea licences, but not revoke licences already issued.
  • Double the planned investment in homes with an extra £6.6 billion.
  • Ban the sale of new pure combustion-engine cars from 2030.
  • Establish three new national forests in England, plant millions of trees, and create new woodlands.
  • Create 650,000 new high-quality jobs in green energy.
  • Force water companies to clean up rivers.

Read the full manifesto.

The Liberal Democrats

Current Leader: Ed Davey

The Liberal Democrats promise to “take the bold, urgent action needed to tackle climate change, cut energy bills and create hundreds of thousands of secure, well-paid new jobs.”

How the Liberal Democrats plan to tackle the climate emergency:

  • Make homes warmer and cheaper to heat with a ten-year emergency upgrade programme, starting with free insulation and heat pumps for those on low incomes, and ensure that all new homes are zero-carbon. 
  • Drive a rooftop solar revolution by expanding incentives for households to install solar panels, including a guaranteed fair price for electricity sold back into the grid. 
  • Invest in renewable power so that 90% of the UK’s electricity is generated from renewables by 2030. 
  • Appoint a Chief Secretary for Sustainability in the Treasury to ensure that the economy is sustainable, resource-efficient and zero-carbon.
  • Establish national and local citizens’ assemblies to give people involvement in the decisions needed to tackle climate change. 
  • Restore the UK’s role as a global leader on climate change, by returning international development spending to 0.7% of national income, with tackling climate change a key priority for development spending.
  • Rapidly roll out electric vehicle (EV) charging points, reintroduce the plug-in car grant, and restore the requirement that every new car and small van sold from 2030 is zero-emission.

Read the full manifesto.

Plaid Cymru Party of Wales (for residents of Wales)

Current Leader: Rhun ap Iorwerth

Plaid Cymru recognise in their manifesto that "the climate and nature emergencies are the biggest threat to humanity on a global scale," and reaffirm a commitment to “reaching net-zero targets in Wales by 2035 and reversing biodiversity decline by 2030.”

How Plaid Cymru plans to tackle the climate emergency:

  • Reverse biodiversity decline by 2030. 
  • Commit Wales to reach net-zero by 2035.
  • Ensure that the school curriculum equips young people with an understanding of climate challenges and encourages a philosophy of engaging with climate change and the natural world.
  • Invest in infrastructure to prevent or mitigate flooding incidents.
  • Increase Air Passenger Duty and kerosene tax for private jets.

Read the full manifesto.

Reform UK

Current Leader: Nigel Farage

Reform UK is a climate-sceptic party and pledges to scrap the net-zero target, blaming the climate crisis on “the power of the sun or volcanoes.” It falsely claims this could save the public sector £30 billion a year, even though climate-related government spending is only around £8 billion a year.

How Reform UK plans to tackle the climate emergency:

Read the full manifesto.

The Scottish National Party (for residents of Scotland)

Current Leader: John Swinney

The Scottish National Party (SNP) asserts that "Scotland is leading the world on tackling the twin crises of climate change and ecological decline." It adds: “We are proud to have the most ambitious legal framework for emissions reduction in the world, but there is no doubt that these targets are immensely challenging.”

How the SNP plans to tackle the climate emergency:

  • Achieve a just transition to net zero by 2045.
  • Generate 50% of Scotland’s overall energy consumption from renewable sources by 2030.
  • Decarbonise the heating of 1 million homes by 2030.
  • Deliver a green transport revolution to meet net zero targets by providing free bikes for all children of school age who cannot afford them, removing the majority of fossil fuel buses from public transport by 2023, and creating a greener, more affordable railway. 
  • Ban new coal licences. 
  • Phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.

Read the full manifesto.


Defend the Planet

The UK General Election 2024 & Climate Change: Voting 101

By Tess Lowery  and  Fadeke Banjo