The climate emergency is a global challenge; but a global solution looks a long way off. Neither the Conservatives nor Labour have a plan to tackle this: the Liberal Democrats are the only party with a detailed plan to lead global efforts to combat the climate emergency.
The Liberal Democrats will initiate an emergency programme to insulate all Britain’s homes by 2030, cutting emissions and fuel bills and ending fuel poverty. We will invest in renewable power so that at least 80 per cent of UK electricity is generated from renewables by 2030 – and banning fracking for good. We will protect nature and the countryside, tackling biodiversity loss and planting 60 million trees a year to absorb carbon, protect wildlife and improve health. And we will invest in public transport, electrifying Britain’s railways and ensuring that all new cars are electric by 2030.
Every relevant decision taken by national government, local councils, businesses, investors, communities and households must make progress towards a 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.
Thanks to Liberal Democrat policies in government, the UK has made major strides in cutting emissions from power generation. We will provide more funding; remove the Conservatives’ restrictions on solar and wind; and build more interconnectors to guarantee security of supply. We aim to reach at least 80 per cent renewable electricity in the UK by 2030.
We will introduce a Zero-Waste and Resource Efficiency Act to ensure that the UK moves towards a circular economy, including banning non-recyclable single-use plastics and replace them with affordable alternatives, aiming for their complete elimination within three years, as a first step towards ending the ‘throwaway society’ culture and an ambition to end plastic waste exports by 2030.
We will extend the forthcoming EU ‘right to repair’ legislation for consumer goods, so helping small repair businesses and community groups combat ‘planned obsolescence’; and extend deposit return schemes for all food and drink bottles and containers, working with the devolved administrations to ensure consistency across the UK.
We will establish a statutory waste recycling target of 70 per cent in England, extend separate food waste collections to at least 90 per cent of homes by 2024, and strengthen incentives to reduce packaging and reduce waste sent to landfill and incineration.
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 demonstrate our commitment by rapidly reducing emissions from the UK economy; increase development spending on climate objectives; and aim to persuade all countries to commit to net zero climate goals by the 2020 UN climate conference in Glasgow.
We will use our role in the EU to tackle the climate emergency, by setting a binding, EU-wide net zero target of 2050, and continuing to take part in the EU’s Internal Energy Market, to provide access to clean energy sources while keeping costs low. We will strengthen climate and environmental goals in EU trade and investment agreements, and refuse to enter any trade agreements with countries that have policies counter to the Paris Agreement, including the Mercosur-EU free trade agreement because of the Brazilian government’s actions in the Amazon.