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Environment Front and Centre in the manifesto

November 27, 2019 11:35 AM
By Keith Melton
Originally published by Green Liberal Democrats

6. EnvironmentThe Green Liberal Democrats are the environmental conscience of the party, and their website is devoted to things environmental. We thought, therefore, that it would be a good place to promote just the environmental bit of the manifesto for you to have a closer look in detail. So, if the environment is your "thing", you will find our plans here to tackle the environmental crises that we face.

You will also find - on other pages of thee website - a growing list of Green Heroes (our candidates specialising in environmental change management) - those people it would be great to have in the House of Commons pushing forward the policies you will find below. Click the link here to get to see our Green Heroes >>>> https://greenlibdems.org.uk/en/page/green-heroes

Here is the Environmental section of our Manifesto...

Our Plan for a Green Society and a Green Economy


The UK should be leading the world in tackling the climate emergency. We are the
first generation to know we are destroying the environment, and the last generation
with a chance to do something about it before it is too late. There is no Planet B. If
we fail to act, millions of people - at home and abroad - will sufer the impacts of
floods, storms and heatwaves, rising food prices and the spread of diseases; the
global fnancial system will be destabilised, poor countries could collapse and the
number of refugees will soar.


The Conservatives have shown themselves unfit to lead in response to this historic
challenge. They have repeatedly fouted EU limits on air pollution and scrapped
energy efficiency schemes that would reduce energy bills and end the scourge of
fuel poverty. They have cut support for renewable energy while trying to force
fracking on communities that don't want it. They are not on track to meet the UK's
climate targets and are dragging their feet on reducing the use of plastics. They
promised to restore the natural environment, but have presided over declines in
many species of wildlife, and repeatedly failed to meet air and water quality goals.


Meanwhile, Labour's policies are a distraction from meaningful action on the
environment. They want to spend billions to renationalise the companies running
the electricity grid, the water industry and the railways. But this would not only be
enormously disruptive and ruinously costly; it would be pointless, as in reality,
ambitious environmental and consumer aims can be achieved through tougher
regulation. A socialist planned economy is no way to tackle the environmental crisis.


The failures of Conservatives and Labour are not only morally indefensible but
economically illiterate. Climate change and the collapse of natural systems are huge
crises but they also represent a massive opportunity to create a different future,
where people breathe clean air, drink clean water and use clean energy, where
communities and industries live in harmony with nature, not at its expense.


We need a new government with the vision and the will to seize that opportunity.
Liberal Democrats offer a new plan to innovate our way out of crisis. To mobilise
every community in the country, and the resources of both the public and private
sector to achieve it. To turn the birthplace of the industrial revolution into the home
of the new Green Revolution.


The Liberal Democrats have the thought-through, deliverable plan for that new
Green Future - in place of the Dutch auction of fantasy dates for Britain to achieve
net zero greenhouse gas emissions offered by the other parties. We will deliver a
ten-year emergency programme to cut emissions substantially straight away, and
phase out emissions from the remaining hard-to-treat sectors by 2045 at the latest.


Our first priorities in the next parliament will be:


Climate Action Now


The climate emergency can only be tackled efectively by ensuring that every
relevant decision taken by national government, local councils, businesses,
investors, communities and households makes progress towards the net zero
objective. 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. To realise these goals, we will:


Renewable Energy


Thanks to Liberal Democrat policies in government, the UK has made major strides
in cutting emissions from power generation; wind power is now the cheapest form
of electricity generation. Now we can go further: we aim to decarbonise the power
sector completely, supporting renewables and household and community energy to
create jobs and cut fossil fuel imports. We will:


Warm Homes and Lower Energy Bills


Everyone should be able to afford to heat their home so that it is warm enough for
them to live in. However, an estimated 2.5 million households in England live in fuel
poverty, where they cannot aford to heat their homes to a decent standard partly
due to poor insulation and heat loss - contributing to climate change and causing
ill-health and early deaths. We will implement an emergency ten-year programme to
reduce energy consumption from all buildings, cutting emissions and energy bills
and ending fuel poverty - and generating employment - supported by investing
over £6 billion a year on home insulation and zero-carbon heating by the fifth year
of the Parliament. We will:


Green Industry, Green Jobs and Green Products


Given the right support, British businesses have the chance to be world leaders in
green technology. UK low-carbon businesses already have a combined turnover of
£80 billion and directly employ 400,000 people, and under our proposals these will
grow. We will provide support for innovation to cut energy and fossil fuel use in
industrial processes - reducing emissions, cutting dependence on fossil fuel
imports and generating jobs and prosperity. We will:


Saving Nature and the Countryside


A healthy natural environment, where people breathe clean air, drink clean water
and enjoy the beauty of the natural world, lies at the heart of the society and the
economy Liberal Democrats want to create. Yet nature is under threat:
unsustainable farming practices are depleting the soil and, together with air and
water pollution, contributing to a rapid decline in the numbers of insects, birds and
other animals. One in seven UK species are at risk of extinction.


We will protect the natural environment and reverse biodiversity loss at the same
time as combatting climate change. We will support farmers to protect and restore
the natural environment alongside their critical roles in producing food, providing
employment and promoting tourism, leisure and health and wellbeing. We will:


Improving Transport


Britain's transport systems are broken. Commuting by rail is expensive, unreliable
and unpleasant, and away from the major commuter routes, buses, trams and
trains are so infrequent and expensive that cars are essentially made a necessity.
This in turn has made air pollution - mostly caused by cars - one of the biggest
causes of preventable illness in the UK, causing at least 40,000 premature deaths a
year and costing the NHS £15 billion. And surface transport is now the largest
source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, with almost no progress in reducing
them since 1990. The UK's share of international aviation and shipping emissions
has risen by almost 80 per cent since 1990. Liberal Democrats will meet this
challenge by:


Clean and Green


To achieve our net-zero climate target by 2045, we aim to reduce emissions from
surface transport to near zero; at the same time the transition to electric vehicles
and from private to public transport will drastically cut air pollution. Emissions from
the UK's share of international aviation are much more difcult to tackle; we need to
accelerate the development of new technologies and cut demand for fying,
particularly from the 15 per cent of individuals who take 70 per cent of fights. We
will:


Fixing Britain's Railways


There is enormous scope to improve Britain's railways, providing reliable and
affordable train services and cutting emissions. The Tories' and Labour's ideological
obsessions - the former with privatisation, the latter with nationalisation - only
serve to get in the way of making real improvements through investment and
regulation. We will improve the railways, reform the franchising system and improve
services to customers. We will:


Animal Welfare


Liberal Democrats believe that all possible steps should be taken to promote animal
welfare and prevent animal sufering, with better protection for animals, and full
regard for animal welfare. We will: