One of the co-founders of The Green Party has said it is “too late” to save the environment as the movement marks 50 years.

Michael Benfield said the party has succeeded in “helping to educate the mass of politics,” but failed in “dealing with the battle for environmental survival”.

“I am afraid I have become somewhat of a doomsayer and it is too late,” he said.

“The battle for the world’s environmental survival is at this moment lost.”

(Twitter / Michael Benfield)

He shared his thoughts at a special event to mark the party’s 50 years in existence which has seen them win council elections and take a seat at Parliament.

The Green Party has its origins within the People Party, which was founded in 1973, and took its current name in the 1980s with the primary aim of environmental campaigning.

But the occasion was not a complete celebration. The 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warned the world faced a “now or never” ultimatum and that greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 in order to be halved this decade.

The world is on course for temperatures to soar to more than 3C above pre industrial averages, which will have catastrophic consequences, unless quick and meaningful action is taken. In order for catastrophic events to be avoided, a target of 1.5C has been given.

Mr Benfield formed the party after a meeting in a pub with fellow estate agent Freda Sanders and solicitors Lesley Whittaker and her late husband Tony.

He added: “It doesn’t mean that we cannot perhaps do other things to put things right but it is a very dire situation from here.”

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavillion said the party does not have another 50 years.

“We are living through maybe one of the most consequential decades of human history, which I appreciate is a very big thing to say,” she said.

“The climate and nature crises are more critical than ever, and it feels to me that what falls upon the shoulders of the Green Party is a most extraordinary responsibility but an awesome opportunity as well.”


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