What Reform UK’s draft manifesto says about Net Zero, energy and the environment

  • We review Reform UK’s energy and environmental policies
  • Their ‘working draft’ of Our contract with you is online
  • Nigel Farage and Richard Tice are not big fans of Net Zero
  • We’ll look at main parties’ manifestos as they come in
  • General Election set for July 4th
"I am coming back to lead a political revolution." - Nigel Farage on Instagram

“I am coming back to lead a political revolution.” – credit Nigel Farage – Instagram

With the 4 July election date looming large, the main parties are putting the finishing touches to their manifestos. We intend to look at them all as they become available, particularly in terms of their renewable energy and environmental commitments.

With the economy and public finances in a fairly parlous state, it doesn’t look like there will be much by way of bold or ambitious policy surprises from either the Conservatives or Labour on this front.

In the recent ITV Leaders’ debate (4 June) between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer, they clashed over the economy, the NHS, immigration and tax. 

Sunak in particular went to town on a Labour’s tax ‘bombshell’ for families, but his repeated claim that a Labour government would lead to “£2,000” in “tax rises” has seen the Treasury looking to distance itself from what he said.

In what sounded like an attack on Labour’s energy plans, Sunak briefly mentioned the cost of heat pumps and electric vehicles in a way that implied his government was not actively encouraging the installation of heat pumps through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

Meanwhile, Reform UK – the latest incarnation of Richard Tice and Clacton prospective parliamentary candidate Nigel Farage – already have a manifesto up online  – in draft form at least.

Dubbed Our contract with you, a ‘working draft’ of its manifesto is up on the party’s (or should that be company’s?) website. 

The section on energy and the environment and Tice’s recent appearance on BBC Breakfast have raised a few eyebrows. 

“We all care about the environment”, it starts positively. “Our air has never been cleaner”, it goes on – pre-industrial Britain may disagree, but was unavailable for comment. 

“We want to use technology to do our bit. But Net Zero is the wrong bit, at the wrong price, in the wrong time frame. Westminster’s obsession with Net Zero is damaging our livelihoods and the economy. It has sent energy bills soaring. Made it harder for businesses to compete. It is costing tens of thousands of jobs and increasing inflation.”

No mention of the war in Ukraine and the effect that has had on energy prices.

The online document goes on to downplay the idea that man-made climate change is actually a thing: “Net zero means reducing man made CO2 emissions to stop climate change. It can’t. Climate change has happened for millions of years, before man made CO2 emissions, and will always change. We are better to adapt to warming, rather than pretend we can stop it”.

Reform goes on to outline the “critical reforms needed” in its first 100 days, including: 

  • scrapping “Net Zero and related subsidies”
  • scrapping “£10 Billion in Renewable Energy Subsidies”, and 
  • “fast-tracking licences for North Sea oil and gas”

Thereafter, they propose “fast-tracking” clean nuclear energy with new small modular reactors and they want to “increase and incentivise UK lithium mining for electric batteries, Combined Cycle gas turbines, clean synthetic fuel and clean coal mining”.

All of which will save £30bn per year, according to the document.

No sums are forthcoming on this, but the ”proposed contract is deliberately issued as a working draft. We welcome your comments, challenges and queries. The contract will be finalised later in the year”. 

With less than one month to go until polling day, we’ll keep an eye out for any changes. 

More on the other party’s manifestos as they come out, but on this one, it’s safe to say that things can only get better.

Written by:
Roland is Editor of The Eco Experts. He is passionate about solar power, reducing plastic waste and technology that can help humanity overcome some of its greatest challenges.
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