The climate emergency is an existential threat. Air pollution is damaging too many lives.
The Conservatives haven’t taken this problem seriously. We have no time to lose: this is an urgent crisis that demands real action now. The Liberal Democrats demand action now.
In government, we championed green energy, and oversaw the trebling of renewable electricity generation. But the Conservatives have repeatedly cut support for green energy producers – damaging the environment and costing British jobs. Liberal Democrats will expand renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions, cutting dependence on fossil fuel imports and generating more jobs and prosperity.
Air pollution in the UK is a killer. It contributes to 40,000 premature deaths a year and costs the NHS £15 billion. This year, London exceeded its annual air pollution target in just five days. The government has failed time and again to comply with EU limits on pollution.
On low-carbon energy and green jobs, the Liberal Democrats will:
- Pass a Zero Carbon Britain Act to set new legally binding targets to reduce net UK greenhouse gas emissions to zero, and work within the EU to set binding targets for a net-zero emission Europe.
- Set up a British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank to mobilise investment into the low carbon and sustainable infrastructure the UK needs to remain competitive.
- Support the Paris agreement by ensuring the UK meets its own climate commitments and plays a leadership role in international efforts to combat climate change.
- Expand renewable energy, aiming to generate 60% of electricity from renewables by 2030, restoring government support for solar PV and onshore and building more electricity interconnectors to underpin this higher reliance on renewables.
- Support investment in cutting-edge technologies including energy storage, smart grid technology, hydrogen technologies, off-shore wind, and tidal, and investing heavily in research and development.
- Support an ambitious carbon capture and storage programme, which is essential for delivering clean industrial growth.
- Ban ‘fracking’ because of its adverse impact on climate change, the energy mix, and the local environment.
- Stop Brexit to maintain membership of Euratom, ensuring continued nuclear co-operation, research funding, and access to nuclear fuels.