Climate scientists and activists have accused the Green Party of ignoring its own core message by not talking about climate change in the general election campaign. Although the party’s manifesto discusses green policies and climate change at length, the party has walked away from the issue while campaigning.
The party’s leader Natalie Bennett has taken most of the criticism. Peter Wadhams, a professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge, told the Independent that the party was “grievously at fault in not talking about climate change.” Professor Wadhams also said that Bennett had a great opportunity to talk about climate change issues in the leaders’ debates but came across as, “just another machine politician talking about the NHS and unemployment.” He went on to say the failure of all parties to adequately address climate change was a “disgrace.”
Environmental campaigners have also criticised the party’s leader with one activist claiming the party were becoming a “political irrelevance.” The campaigner and author Kevin Lister accused Natalie Bennett of being “too concerned about moving to the centre ground” in an effort to chase votes. It is unclear if that “centre ground” includes policies such as compulsory equality and diversity lessons in schools, raising the top rate of income tax to 60%, strengthening travellers’ rights and banning cages for rabbits and chickens.
Bennett denied ignoring climate change pointing out that she was the only leader in the recent debates who mentioned the issue saying that MPs from her party elected on May 7th would “make it their mission to push for the changes we so desperately need to avert catastrophic climate change.” She continued to say that voters understood that climate change was man made despite the best efforts of what she described as “right-wing media tycoons.”