Woman holding large green leaf in front of her

Coalition backs calls for climate and nature leaders debate

The Greener UK coalition is backing calls for a televised leaders debate on climate and nature before the general election.

Members of the coalition are supporting the campaign for all main party leaders to take part in a climate and nature debate. The campaign is led by climate charity Possible and the UK Student Climate Network. Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and the Scottish National Party have so far agreed to take part.

The environment is now rated among the top issues of public concern, and in a recent poll over half of respondents said climate change would influence how they vote in the election. 

The campaign has so far received support from 75 organisations, including the Women’s Institute and National Union of Students, while a petition calling for a debate has at the time of writing received over 180,000 signatures. Teachers, scientists, architects, engineers, health professionals and union members are among those pledging their support.

A letter was also published in The Times on Monday 18 November, signed by 12 green organisations, supporting the climate and nature debate and calling for all party leaders to take part.

Beccy Speight, the RSPB’s Chief Executive, said: 

“We’re living through a nature and climate crisis with floods, wildfires and loss of wildlife leading the news and election agenda. We must have the opportunity to scrutinise those vying to be our next Prime Minister on how they will deliver action at the unprecedented scale required.”

Shaun Spiers, executive director of Green Alliance, said:

“With the dreadful flooding in England and bushfires in Australia, recent events have again shown the fragile state of our climate and natural environment. There is an urgent need to start building a greener, more secure future.

“The public would like to hear how our leading politicians will address the big problems we face. We hope the prime minister will now join other party leaders to debate how we can urgently tackle climate change and restore nature.”