Is climate change and inclusion going to be the deciding factor for your vote at the general election? If so with just days to go, we’ve dissected the policies from the main political parties that impact equality and sustainability to help you make the ultimate choice for who should lead our country for the next 4 years.

Current Prime Minister & Conservatives Leader: Rishi Sunak

Conservative’s manifesto on Inclusion:

The proposed Tory policies are heavily focused on property and tax cuts. Despite this, some policies proposed will affect inclusion throughout the UK, the majority of which have been viewed as a failure for ‘disabled people’.

Change PIP assessment and stricken how the benefits system assesses capability for work
  • The Tories claim that those with mental health issues do not face the same additional living costs as those with physical disabilities
  • To provide objective measure of peoples needs.
  • Done by making those with moderate mental/mobility problems have support within work rather than benefits
  • The Tories estimate cutting 424000 off receiving benefits for recognised disabilities
Delivering 60000 more school places with 15 new schools for children with special educational needs
  • A panorama has just come out with footage of physical and verbal abuse towards students within a school for special needs.
  • Will there be sufficient training to match the Tories demands to prevent situations like this?
Complete implementation of the Cass review
  • ‘Protecting’ young people questioning their gender from ideologically driven care, and ensuring that NHS services follow evidence-based best practices.
  • Legislate to prevent puberty blockers being privately prescribed and supplied.
Explore bidding for the 2031 Special Olympics world summer games
  • England have never hosted the special Olympics before.

The Tories manifesto is particularly dry on the topic of inclusion. Their reasoning is that they have already passed several rights for equality during their time in power. They passed the British Sign Language Act in 2022 and the Same-Sex Marriage Act in 2013. But, could the Tories be selling a false dream of inclusivity?

Just a few months ago, at the Conservative party conference, Rishi Sunak, the Prime minister himself, said that ‘we shouldn’t get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be. A man is a man, a woman is a woman, that’s just common sense’. If the Prime, leader of the Tories is making comments such as this, then can we really believe that they have already achieved inclusion?



Conservatives manifesto on climate change:

Although Boris Johnson, former prime minister and leader of the Tories, clearly stated that global warming does not exist, the Tory party has done a U-turn in this belief over recent years. They now have a clear plan for tackling climate change over the coming years.

Net Zero by 2050
  • Back renewables and prevent the prospect of blackouts with new gas power stations to maintain safe, reliable energy sources for days when weather cannot power renewables.
  • ‘If forced to choose between clean energy and keeping citizens safe and warm, we will choose to keep the lights on’
  • Treble offshore wind capacity to deliver low-cost homegrown energy.
Cut cost of tackling climate change by:
  • Ensuring green levies on household bills are lower than 2023.
  • Reforming climate change committee giving mandate to consider cost to households and UK energy security in its future climate advice.
Support solar in the right places, not on the best agricultural land.
  • Prevent multiple solar farms being clustered in one area to protect rural landscapes.
Ambitious plan for water:
  • Working with regulator to further hold companies to account.
  • Extending 50 pound water rebate for those in southwest across the parliament.
  • Using fines from water companies to invest in river restoration projects.
Increase planting trees by:
  • Deliver tree planting and peatland commitments through nature for climate funding.
  • Cut red tape that holds back the planting of trees in the planning system.
  • Deliver commitment at COP28 to introduce forest commodities legislation.

It appears that the Tories are looking to make changes to sustainability within the UK that they would have previously ignored. Is this just all a fanciful show to compete with the other parties? Even if it isn’t, their manifesto is still viewed as the ‘weakest offering on climate action’ where Sunak has decided to focus on costs rather than the benefits.

At first glance, the Tories are halfway to net zero, but statistics clearly tell us that they have been decelerating their progress dramatically. So this begs the question, do the Tories really want to achieve change in sustainability? Or do they still believe climate change isn’t real? Also, there has been a recent discovery that sewage being dumped into our water systems has risen from 1.75 million hours of spills in 2022 to 3.6 million . This number is strikingly high, so the Tories’ plan for water restoration needs to be airtight.


Labour Leader Kier Starmer by Rwendland, CC BY-SA 4.0

Labour’s manifesto on Inclusion:

The labour party acknowledge through their manifesto that there are still bridges to close to ensure equality for all.

Supporting people into work
  • Work with local areas to create plans to support disabled people and health conditions at work.
  • Tackle the backlog of access to work claims.
  • Give disabled people the confidence to work without fear of immediate benefit reassessment if it does not work out.
  • Work capacity assessment will be reformed/replaced with a proper plan to support disabled people in to work.
Respect and equality for all
  • Women’s equality is at the heart of Labour’s mission.
  • Strengthening rights to equal pay through Barbara Castle’s Equal Pay Act.
  • Protect women from maternity and menopause discrimination and sexual harassment.
  • Introduce landmark race equality act to give full rights to equal pay and increase protection from discrimination for ethnic minorities.
  • Equal pay for disabled people.
  • Protect LGBT+ and disabled people by making all strands of hate crime an aggravated offence.
  • Full-inclusive ban on conversion practices.
  • Reform ‘intrusive’ gender recognition law to a new process.
  • Remove indignities for trans people whilst retaining the need for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a specialist doctor.
Family security
  • Strategy to reduce child poverty (which has increased by 700,000 under conservative government).
  • Introduce free breakfast clubs in every primary school.
  • Protect renters from arbitrary eviction.
  • Banning exploitative zero hours contracts.
  • Develop cross-government strategy to reverse homelessness.

Labour have placed more emphasis on fighting for inclusion within their manifesto compared to the Tories. Their clear focus on bridging the gap of inequality shows us just how much more in touch the Labour Party is with the public and the changes that have had a detrimental effect on inclusion within the last 14 years. Not to mention that instead of attempting to prevent people from questioning their gender, Labour appears to be in support of providing reassurance to the LGBTQ+ community.

However, it must be noted that Kier Starmer, leader of the Labour party, has said conflicting statements on trans rights in the past. A prominent comment made was that 99% of women don’t have a penis, but over the last few days, Starmer has hardened his stance on the idea that only a man can have a penis. Will Starmer continue to flit back and forth on his proposed policies, too?

Labour’s manifesto on sustainability:

Labour is attempting to put its best foot forward on its policies affecting climate change.

Clean power by 2030
  • Done by doubling onshore wind, tripling solar power, and quadrupling offshore wind by 2030.
  • Invest in carbon capture and hydrogen (New Energy Independence Act will establish a framework for energy climate policies)
  • Not grant new coal licenses.
Switch on great British energy
  • Create a publicly owned company to drive forward investment in clean home-grown energy.
  • Capitalise company with 8.3 billion pounds.
Warm homes plan
  • Invest an extra £6.6 billion over the next parliament, investment to upgrade five million homes to cut bills for families.
  • Doubles existing plan from Tories.
  • Offer grants and low-interest loans to support investment in insulation and other improvements such as solar panels, batteries and low-carbon heating to cut bills.
Protecting nature
  • Create 9 new national river walks and 3 new national forests.
  • Plant millions of trees.
  • Move to circular economy to reduce waste.
Clean water
  • Put failing water companies under special measures.
  • Give regulators new powers to block payment of bonuses to executives who pollute waterways.
  • Bring criminal charges against persistent water regulation breakers.

Labour have driven their focus onto holding those causing the most detrimental effects on climate change to account. They are acknowledging the interplay between lower bills and sustaining a healthy environment. However, what both parties fail to mention is the introduction of the ULEZ charges, where there is a clear problem with the financial difficulties of paying the charges to contribute to climate change. Is there a better approach to tackling fuel emissions? Or rather, can the future government make alternative plans for those who cannot afford to upgrade to a newer, shinier mode of transport?

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey by Keith Edkins, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Liberal Democrats Manifesto on Inclusion:

It is worth mentioning that when delivering their manifesto, the Lib Dems had a British Sign Language interpreter compared to the Tories’ lack of additional support (despite them using the British Sign Language Act as one of their good deeds during their 14 years in government).

Rights and Equality
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive Race Equality Strategy to address deep inequalities in education, health, criminal justice, and the economy.
  • Make legal aid system simple, fairer, and more generous (Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, cut large areas from aid overnight).
  • Make misogyny a hate crime and give police and prosecutors resources and training to prevent and prosecute all hate crimes.
  • Give everyone a new right to flexible working and every disabled person the right to work from home if they want to, unless there are significant business reasons why it is impossible.
  • Respect and defend the rights of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including trans and non-binary people.
  • Ban all forms of conversion therapies and practices.
Families, Children and Young People
  • Extend free school meals to all children in poverty, to extend them to all primary school children when the public finances allow.
  • Cabinet Minister for Children and Young People.
  • Expand opportunities for young people to study, teach and volunteer abroad by returning to the Erasmus Plus programme as an associated country.

The Lib Dems section in their manifesto on inclusion is much more in-depth and thorough than the Labour and Tory parties. They seem to have young people at the forefront of their policies, aiming to provide them the ‘best possible start in life’.

Liberal Democrat’s Manifesto on Sustainability:

The Lib Dems have gone a step further than Labour and the Tories by aiming to exceed the mandatory 2050 deal and become net zero by pushing for this to be done by 2045.

Climate Change and Energy
  • Make homes warmer and cheaper to heat with a ten-year emergency upgrade programme and ensure that all new homes are zero-carbon.
  • Drive a rooftop solar revolution by expanding incentives for households to install solar panels, including a guaranteed fair price for electricity sold back into the grid.
  • Invest in renewable power so that 90% of the UK’s electricity is generated from renewables by 2030. (slightly less ambitious than Labour).
  • Appoint a Chief Secretary for Sustainability in the Treasury.
  • Establish a new Net Zero Delivery Authority to coordinate action across government departments and give more powers and resources to local councils for local net zero strategies.
  • Establish national and local citizens’ assemblies to give people real involvement in the decisions needed to tackle climate change.
  • return international development spending to 0.7% of national income, with tackling climate change a key priority for development spending.
Natural Environment
  • End the sewage scandal by transforming water companies into public benefit companies, banning bonuses for water bosses until discharges and leaks end, and replacing Ofwat with a tough new regulator with new powers to prevent sewage dumps. (similar to labour)
  • Set targets to stop the decline of our natural environment and ‘double nature’ by 2050: doubling the size of the Protected Area Network, doubling the area of most important wildlife habitats, doubling the abundance of species and doubling woodland cover by 2050.
  • Plant at least 60 million trees a year, helping to restore woodland habitats, increase the use of sustainable wood in construction, and reach net zero.
  • Pass a Clean Air Act, based on World Health Organization guidelines, enforced by a new Air Quality Agency.
  • Strengthen the Office for Environmental Protection and provide more funding to the Environment Agency and Natural England to help protect our environment and enforce environmental laws.

The Liberal Democrats have approached the general election from a more left-leaning stance, emphasizing aiding in ending climate change. However, although the Liberal Democrats promised to place tackling the climate crisis at the center of their policies,they still left this topic out of their summary of their ambitions.  Which leaves us wondering, how will they follow through with their policies if they don’t even remember to mention them?

Green Party Leaders, Carla Denyer & Adrian Ramsay.

Green Party’s Manifesto on Inclusion:

  • Introduce free personal care along the lines successfully brought in by the Scottish Government, to ensure dignity in old age and for the disabled.
  • Campaign to end violence against women and girls.
  • Scrap the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Act, the Public Order Act and other legislation that erodes the right to protest and free expression.
  • Campaign for the right of self-identification for trans and non-binary people.
  • Scrap the Prevent programme and tackle hate crime, misogyny, Islamophobia and antisemitism. Seek to restore trust and confidence in the police.

Green Party’s Manifesto on Sustainability:

It’s no secret the Green Party is known for its primary care for the environment, so they have lots of policies throughout different sectors to better the UK’s position on tackling climate change.

Powering up fairer, greener economy
  • Net zero 2040
  • Wind provide 70% UK’s electricity by 2030
  • Phase out fossil fuels
  • Phase out nuclear energy
Bringing nature back to life
  • Introduce a new Rights of Nature Act, giving rights to nature itself.
  • End the scandal of sewage pouring into our rivers and seas by taking the water companies back into public ownership.
  • Extend people’s access to green space and waterways close to where they live with a new English Right to Roam Act.
  • Set aside 30% of our land and seas by 2030 in which nature will receive the highest priority and protection.
  • An immediate end to the emergency authorisation of bee-killing pesticides.
  • A new Clean Air (Human Rights) Act, giving everyone the right to breathe clean air.
Protecting animals
  • The creation of a new Commission on Animal Protection.
  • A ban on all blood sports, including trail hunting.
  • All UK domestic and overseas territorial waters to offer the highest level of protection to marine life.
  • An end to badger culling.
Greener Transport
  • Investment of £2.5bn a year in new cycleways and footpaths.
  • Re-imagining how we use streets in residential areas to reduce traffic and open them up for community use.
  • Adopting Active Travel England’s objective of 50% of trips in England’s towns and cities to be walked, wheeled or cycled by 2030.

The Green Party has clear ambitions for change to sustainability, proving they are green by name, green by nature. Their innovative ideas are incomparable to the other parties’ stances on fixing climate change. But are they reaching too far? Could the Green Party be in danger of over promising and under delivering? In comparison to their stance on climate and sustainability their inclusion policies could seem a little light. However, it’s worth noting the party has always advocated for equality, in particular with LGBTQ+ rights.

Reform’s Manifesto on Inclusion

Well you may notice we’ve had to change tact here. Quite simply, that’s because there are no specific policies the reform party would like to bring in that would better inclusivity. However, they would like to ‘scrap’ the diversity, equality and inclusion rules as they feel it has lowered standards and reduced economic productivity. They are also keen to introduce a free speech bill, to prevent ‘cancel culture’. Is this so they don’t get cancelled?

Reforms Manifesto on Sustainability

Again there’s not any real sustainability polices to pinpoint here. Rather than following the footsteps of the other parties and, frankly, the rest of the world. Reform believes that net zero is ‘crippling the economy.’ They are more focused on saving the UK  the £30 billion per year that attempting to achieve net zero would cost. Although, they don’t seem to be complete climate change deniers, instead the route they would prefer to take is to fast-track nuclear energy with new small modular reactors to provide cleaner energy from new technology. Oh, and don’t forget reverting us  back to the days of coal mining.


So there we have it, 5 parties, 5 varying manifesto’s vying for votes. We hope we’ve helped you to determine who has yours. Whichever party win’s you over, just ensure you hit those polling stations on 4th July and excercise your right! And though we’re not here to swing your vote in any particular direction. We do hope you remember that a vote in favour of inclusion and sustainability is a vote for the people and the planet.