Caroline Lucas was the only Green Party MP in the last parliament
The environmental party launches its radical manifesto today
The Green Party of England and Wales will launch its manifesto later today with a promise to achieve net zero carbon emissions in the UK by 2030.
The party says it will borrow money to fund £100bn a year investment by 2030 as part of its “green new deal” to tackle climate change.
Co-leader Sian Berry will say at the manifesto launch that the party will “hit the ground running” because “the future won’t give us another chance to get these next two years right”.
The Greens backed Remain in the 2016 EU referendum and “continue to believe that membership of the EU makes our future more hopeful and secure”, says the party.
They want a relationship with the EU that offers freedom of movement, with the UK remaining part of the EU single market, and rights for people and the environment protected. They would guarantee the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK, and seek the same deal for UK citizens in the EU.
The environment is “at the heart of everything” the Greens do. The party plans to put £100bn a year by 2030 into policies that tackle the climate crisis.
The party would introduce a green new deal bill to “get the UK on track to reducing climate emissions to net zero by 2030”.
The manifesto includes pledges to build 100,000 new zero carbon homes for social rent each year. The Greens would also improve tenants’ rights and lower rents.
Co-leader Jonathan Bartley told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “When we’re facing an existential threat, we don’t hold back, we know that we have to tackle it.
“Frankly if the climate were a bank, we’d have bailed it out by now.”
The Greens would introduce an NHS reinstatement bill, which would increase funding for the health service by at least £6bn per year, until 2030.
Like Labour, they would “roll back privatisation of the NHS” and guarantee that all health and dental services are provided free.
It would stop arms sales to “oppressive regimes” and introduce an “ethical” foreign policy that is aimed at conflict resolution rather than “aggressive wars of intervention”.
The Green manifesto pledges to completely scrap university tuition fees, fund full student grants and invest more in further and higher education.
The party has also said it will increase and protect spending per school pupil. It will offer free universal early education and childcare for all children, with formal education starting at the age of seven.
Like Labour, the Greens would abolish Ofsted – something former Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw described as “bonkers”.
The Greens would bring back Education Maintenance Allowance and make apprenticeships open to all qualified young people aged 16 to 25.
Like Labour, the Greens have pledged to return the railways to public ownership and re-regulate buses.
To tackle climate change, the party would cancel all airport expansions and end subsidies on airline fuel, and would introduce incentives to take diesel vehicles off the roads.
One of the Green Party’s most radical ideas is the introduction of a universal basic income bill, which would legislate to introduce unconditional payments for everyone in the country “above their subsistence needs”.
The Greens would introduce proportional representation voting and an elected upper house of parliament, scrapping the House of Lords.
They would lower the voting age to 16 and give young people the chance to “take an active role in democracy” by introducing non-biased political education and promoting “active citizenship”, says the party website.