Climate love
Image of Caroline Lucas

Caroline Lucas

Climate love

Green moderniser who made parliament listen

One day in 1986, Caroline Lucas went looking for the Green party headquarters, finding them in a “shoe box” on Clapham High Street in south London, and immediately signed up as a member. Thirty-seven years later, Lucas has announced she will stand down at the next election as the party’s only MP after decades as its highest-profile member. In that time she has been one of its MEPs, its only MP, and its leader on two occasions, and has spearheaded its core strategies of social and environmental justice to achieve some of the party’s best ever election results. As she prepares to concentrate on her environmental work, Lucas leaves behind a bigger, more established and more professional party. She also leaves a parliament where the causes she has championed for years, from ending coal power to banning fracking, have been taken up by the UK’s two biggest parties. “It has been about putting things on the political agenda that would not have been there without me,” she says, hours after announcing her intention to stand down. “On coal power, on fracking, on drug policy, I have worked very hard to make these things issues for mainstream political debate.” Lucas, the child of two Conservative voters, was involved in a variety of progressive causes when she was younger, from women’s rights to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. She says Jonathon Porritt’s book Seeing Green convinced her that these causes were all linked, with ecology and environmentalism at their core. After finishing the book, she immediately joined the Green party. Not long after, the party achieved its best ever election result, winning 15% of the vote and coming third in the 1989 European elections. That result, however, failed to translate into a single seat, thanks to the wide dispersal of Green support across the country.

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  • George Kariuki

    56 w

    Caroline Lucas's legacy will endure, serving as an inspiration for future generations of environmental activists and politicians.

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