At our stall at the Bude Earth Festival we decided to run a climate-ometer to get a sense of the types of policies people were prepared to support to combat climate change. It wasn’t a particularly scientific analysis, and the attendees were a very “green” group, but it did enable us to have lots of interesting conversations and in general we found people were very willing to support a number of policy ideas. Those which were most popular were:
- Fit solar panels to all new houses
- Plant a new generation of forests
- Increase funding for public transport, cycle lanes and footpaths
- Encouraging and subsidising renewable energy
- Stopping subsidies for fossil fuels
- Banning fracking
Slightly less popular were:
- Outlawing petrol and diesel cars
- Introducing a frequent flyer charge
- Replacing gas central heating with electric
- Introducing a “meat tax”
However all the policy suggestions had significant levels of support and most people wanted action now, rather than waiting until 2030.
The other discussion we had on the stand was about onshore wind turbines. We asked people to sign postcards to Scott Mann MP asking him to remove the planning blocks on onshore wind turbines. 33 people were happy to do this and a number of people weren’t North Cornwall constituents so supported but didn’t sign. We also had one or two conversations where people were doubtful or outright opposed to onshore wind, primarily because of the visual impact. Another mentioned migratory bird paths. There is obviously still some work to do to convince people that the outright planning block is unreasonable in the current climate emergency because people don’t understand what the alternative criteria for planning approval would be.
Overall the stall was a big success with lots of interaction between Green Party members and members of the public, and a reasonable number of enquiries about becoming supporters or members. So many people also told us that they voted Green for the first time in the EU elections!