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The full, unedited responses for this question are available in this document: Candidates Responses-Q6.

What help should government offer to help people lead more sustainable lifestyles?

Andrew Bingham (Conservative)

Andrew says that the availability of renewable energy and recycling facilities and initiatives, together with corporate attempts to reduce carbon footprints and waste, make it easier in some ways for an individual to reduce their environmental impact.  Research and technological advances, together with data gathering on impacts of lifestyle choices, again assist individuals in being able to make informed choices.

The Government funded the Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group which was charged to develop new and relevant understandings of the processes which lead to changes in people’s lifestyles, behaviours and practices; and to offer evidence-based advice to policy-makers about realistic strategies to encourage more sustainable lifestyles.

Charlotte Farrell (Green)

Charlotte says that Green policies will result in a shift towards sustainable living and away from consumption-led growth. However, it will not be easy dealing with the change needed to bring this about. Greens therefore believe that education at all levels of society is needed to reflect the kinds of knowledge, skills and vision that are needed. All levels of government also have to play a part in enabling this transition. All Green policies are aimed at helping to bring about this transition to more sustainable lifestyles.

Caitlin Bisknell (Labour)

Caitlin says that the way to enable sustainable lifestyles is through strengthening the Green Investment Bank with borrowing powers so that it is well placed to support investment in small and medium sized green businesses and to enable individuals and communities to invest in clean energy. Also more promotion of better insulation of homes and buildings with a target of making five million homes energy efficient within 10 years. The last Labour government introduced energy efficiency grants for households and an incoming Labour government will provide one million interest-free loans to cover the costs of energy efficiency.

Stephen Worrall (Liberal Democrats)

Stephen says that the government should do the following to promote sustainable lifestyles: implement the “Get Britain Cycling” report recommendations; support ambitious EU vehicle emission reduction targets and encourage the electric vehicle market; establish a scheme to raise household energy efficiency standards and cut fuel bills, with a cut in council tax for taking part; initiate a national roll out of smart energy meters.

UKIP

There is no mention of relevant policies about sustainability in UKIP’s policy document, except that “UKIP will repeal the Climate Change Act 2008 which costs the economy £18bn a year” and the proposed abolition of the Dept for Energy and Climate Change.

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