Protecting our planet

November 25, 2019 4:16 PM
Originally published by South West Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats

Wind Energy

The Liberal Democrats have, over many years, been formulating and implementing policies to respond to the now widely recognised climate emergency being caused by human generation of green house gases. In government we strengthened and accelerated the implementation of renewable energy only for it to be cut back once the Conservatives were given free reign.

The UK should be leading the world in tackling the climate emergency. If we fail to act, millions of people - at home and abroad - will suffer the impacts of floods, storms and heatwaves, rising food prices and the spread of diseases; the global financial system will be destabilised, poor countries could collapse and the number of refugees will soar. We need a government with the vision and the will to seize that opportunity to invest and innovate our way out of the crisis.

Our priorities in the next parliament will be:

  • An emergency programme to insulate all Britain's homes by 2030, cutting emissions and fuel bills and ending fuel poverty.
  • Investing in renewable power so that at least 80% of UK electricity is generated from renewables by 2030 - and banning fracking for good.
  • Protecting nature and the countryside, tackling biodiversity loss and planting 60 million trees a year to absorb carbon, protect wildlife and improve health.
  • Investing in public transport, electrifying Britain's railways and ensuring that all new cars are electric by 2030.
  • Requiring all companies registered in the UK and listed on UK stock exchanges to set targets consistent with the Paris Agreement on climate change and to report on their implementation.
  • Requiring all companies to establish a general corporate duty of care for the environment and human rights.

The Liberal Democrats champion environmental policies that protect our planet but seek to stimulate business and employment opportunities. We will:

  • Reduce emissions from industrial processes by supporting carbon capture and storage and new low-carbon processes for cement and steel production.
  • Provide more advice to companies on cutting emissions, support the development of regional industrial clusters for zero-carbon innovation and increase the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund.
  • Expand the market for green products and services with steadily higher green criteria in public procurement policy.
  • End support from UK Export Finance for fossil fuel-related activities, and press for higher environmental standards for export credit agencies throughout the OECD.

We will set a new legally binding target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2045 at the latest, and implement a comprehensive climate action plan, cutting emissions across all sectors. This is only a selection from a comprehensive package that can be examined in our Our Plan for a Green Society and a Green Economy in the Liberal Democrats' 2019 General Election manifesto Stop Brexit - Build a Brighter Future.