Ealing Friends of the Earth

Poor Marks for Ealing Politicians

Ealing Friends of the Earth’s have been asking the local political parties six questions about what they would do about the climate crisis if they were voted into office in the May 5th council elections. From their answers, we have put together this scorecard to reflect our opinion of their answers.

It is a little shocking that EFoE believes that the best score (Ealing Greens) is only 42 out of 60. The worst score of 0 from Ealing Conservatives is because, despite numerous contacts, they refused to engage with the exercise at all. That can only reflect the priority they give to climage change and the importance of the environment in Ealing.

We are grateful to Ealing Labour, Ealing Liberal Democrats, Ealing Independents, the Trades Union and Socialist Coalition and Ealing Greens for taking part. Their answers can be seen elsewhere on this website at https://ealingfoe.org.uk/latest-news/.

The Six Questions

  1. Would you review Ealing Council’s Climate Strategy on a regular basis? (Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy – Adopted January 2021). In particular, would you provide estimates of the emissions saved so far as a result of the actions in the strategy and a projection of total emissions forward to 2030 (‘Net Zero’ year)?
  1. Ealing Council has recently revised its Biodiversity Action Plan. What do you think of it and are you happy to see it adopted in its current form by the end of 2022?
  1. Would you require developers to provide an estimate of carbon emissions – direct and ‘embedded’ – for all major planning applications in the borough?
  1. Would you place a requirement on developers to provide net zero carbon housing units?
  1. Would you set a target to stabilise and then reduce the amount of motor traffic on Ealing’s roads? What policies would you adopt to achieve this?
  1. Would you establish a plan to address air pollution such that pollution levels across the entire borough are brought within UK legal limits and WHO (World Health Organisation) Guideline Values?

Criteria for scoring

We have given some marks for just agreeing to our points. But they need to be amplified with useful comments which illustrate an understanding of the issue. Extra policies earn more points.

Some of the targets will be very hard to meet and we gave credit to parties who highlight this. Indeed, a party that disagrees with our question by giving a convincing reason and even better offers an alternative, is marked highly.

Question 2, as originally framed, was somewhat undermined by Ealing Council publishing its new Biodiversity Action Plan. But we have marked on general comments on biodiversity and we have given similar marks to each party to avoid this question getting too much weight.

We have to take an answer of just “Yes” at face value. But given a lack of trust for politicians, we leave it to others to judge to what extent each party should be trusted to act according to its commitments and comments.

Question

LibDem

Ealing Independents

TU and Socialist Coalition 

Green Party

Labour

Conservative

1: Reviewing climate strategy 

Good on review, but no response to quantification.

Agree to review but no response to quantification.  Long comments but no policies or proposals.

Agree to review and thoughtful comments

Agrees to review. Recognises key point that a lot of emissions are outside council control.

Agreed to our ask with some detail. But sounds too good to be true!

 

Score:  6  

Score:  4

Score:  8

Score:  8

Score:  8

Score: 0

2. Biodiversity Action Plan

Question pre-empted by council. But LibDems had spotted that the BAP had been published.

Question pre-empted by council. But some useful comment.

Question pre-empted by council.

But some useful comment.

Question pre-empted by council. But good comment on biodiversity.

Question pre-empted by council.

Comments sound good, but planting thousands of tree shoots and not making all of Warren Farm a nature reserve are not good omens.

 

Score:  5

Score:  6  

Score:  6

Score:  6 

Score:  6

Score:  0

3. Carbon content of buildings 

Good answer with useful comment.

Question not answered. But they have raised some important issues about developers running the show.

Have agreed, but not provided any detail or ideas eg national planning policy constraints.

Have agreed, but not provided any detail or ideas eg national planning policy constraints.

I don’t have evidence that the council requires developers to provide estimates of carbon emissions. Rest of response does not elucidate the question. Offsets are ‘smoke and mirrors’.

 

Score:  8   

Score:  2

Score:  5   

Score:  5   

Score:  5   

Score:  0

4. Zero carbon housing 

Good answer. They seem to have some policies here.

Question not answered. But they have raised some important issues about developers running the show.

Have agreed and give some informed comment.

Good answer because it recognises inevitably of carbon content

Useful comment, recognising constraints.

 

Score:  8  

Score:  3

Score:  8

Score:  8  

Score:  8

Score:  0

5. Traffic targets

 No apparent intent to set targets or introduce policies that would achieve them.

No apparent intent to address traffic targets. But some recognition of issues.

Agree to targets. Action proposed to improve public transport but no mention of need to address car traffic directly.

Agree to targets and recognises car traffic needs to be reduced.

No apparent intention to set targets.

 

Score:  3 

Score:  2    

Score:  7  

Score:  8 

Score:  4

Score:  0

6. Air pollution targets

Very general. Eg, they could have supported extension of ULEZ

Question not answered. Mostly  comments about Southall gasworks site. Some relevant points on air pollution monitoring.

Do not understand the difference between air pollution and climate change.

Agree and add useful point about monitoring.

Do not agree to our ask but set out reasons why we can’t achieve WHO guideline values.

 

Score:  5

Score:  2 

Score:  3

Score:  7

Score:  6

Score:  0

Total Score

 

       35

       19

       37

       42

       37

       0

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