Reviewing party manifestos: The Green Party

Here’s the third of our analyses of party manifestos ahead of the General Election on 4 July. We’re responding to the manifestos of the top five political parties by vote share as they are published.

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Green Party manifesto: our view

On Wednesday 12 June, the Green Party launched their 2024 General Election manifesto, called ‘Real Hope. Real Change’. Our policy experts have scrutinised it from a nature and climate perspective. 

The big picture

In general, much of this manifesto is to be applauded in terms of nature and climate. However, it is rather lacking in the detail around how some of these things will work. 

Space for nature

We welcome the Green Party’s commitment to giving 30% of UK land protected area status, noting that nature will receive the highest protection and priority. This is great news for wildlife. We understand that this commitment also extends to the UK Overseas Territories, which are 14 areas- mostly islands - with a link to the UK, and under its jurisdiction. Here, we support the move to give the highest protection to marine life. It’s a positive step to protect areas at sea to the highest level, both around the UK and in the UK Overseas Territories. 

Our seabirds are in trouble. According to 2023’s Seabirds Count, almost half of seabird species in the UK have seen a decrease in their numbers in the past 20 years. It's therefore rather disappointing that despite the commitment to marine protected areas, the manifesto doesn’t mention any commitments towards fisheries. Properly managed fisheries are a key part of helping our seabirds to recover.  


As 71% of the UK is farmed, we know that farming is key to the recovery of nature. Therefore, we support the commitment to tripling the agriculture budget, which is a realistic step up of funding to support the transition to nature-friendly farming. Transforming our farming system is key to saving species and helping to combat the nature and climate emergency. 


We’re encouraged by the Green Party’s commitment to transform the planning system. This includes a proposed land use planning policy framework, which aims to balance the challenges of combating climate change, protecting nature, growing food and providing homes and electricity. It also seeks to reduce the environmental impact of new construction development. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but more detail is needed. 

In theory, we also support giving local authorities the appropriate resource and funding to care for their land and built environment. However, it needs a reference to nature to benefit both wildlife and people. 

Combating climate change

We welcome the commitment to a separate Nature and Climate Act. This pledges to ensure a comprehensive, joined-up approach to the nature and climate emergency. We’re pleased to see commitments to direct specific funding towards climate change mitigation. There is only one specific reference to nature-based solutions, which is on the subject to flooding and river restoration. This is a welcome addition, but we’d love to see more reference to nature-based solutions throughout the manifesto. 

The commitment to ‘30 by 30’, ensuring that 30% of the world’s land, coastal and marine areas are properly protected by the year 2030, is a good step, but nature-based solutions must be part of this.  

It’s great to see continued commitments towards wind energy. The Green Party’s ambition for offshore wind is 50GW by 2030, so their increase to 80GW is significant. However, if this is to be achieved in a way that works with nature in mind, it must be planned effectively. This is both in terms of location and removing other pressures in the marine environment to create space for offshore wind and to mitigate its effects on nature. It’s disappointing that this is not referenced.  

However, it is a definite positive to see the bold ambition to remove oil and gas subsidies and cancel existing offshore licences. These emissions contribute to climate change which has major knock-on impacts on wildlife. 

Access to nature, for everyone 

We welcome the commitment to extend people’s access to the green spaces and waterways close to where they live, with a new English Right to Roam Act, similar to the access rights in Scotland. We strongly support the principle of equitable and responsible access to nature. For many people, a lifelong love and respect for nature starts with that direct physical connection. It’s also estimated that regular access to greenspace could save the NHS up to £2.1 billion per year in health and wellbeing benefits. The RSPB’s Nature Prescriptions programme supports this. 

Many people don’t have access to nature in their communities, nor the ability to travel to nature-rich places. Therefore, increasing access to nature must also include creating and managing more places for nature in urban and suburban areas. Increased access to nature should also be accompanied by a clear public information campaign on responsible access, alongside some sensible exceptions to protect our most vulnerable sites and species.

In a nutshell

The commitments to ’30 by 30’, increasing the agricultural budget for nature-friendly farming, introducing a Nature and Climate Act and proposals to extend access to nature are very positive steps for nature. However, a lack of reference to nature-based solutions is disappointing, given they are key to combating the nature and climate emergency. 

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