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Liberal Democrats tackling climate change

(Credit: Adobe Stock)

3 min read

With climate change at the top of political parties’ agendas, Tim Farron MP, former Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, reiterates the Liberal Democrats’ policies to help the United Kingdom towards its net-zero goals

Climate change is undoubtedly the biggest issue we all face. But for too long there has been a narrative that in order for us to reach net-zero we all need to lead more meagre lives, becoming poorer and colder as a result.

That’s why I am proud that the Liberal Democrats have put forward a bold plan which will transform the economy, tackle rising bills, make our homes warmer, and help to save the planet. 

Firstly, let’s start with farming. You can have the best environmental policies in the world, crafted by the brightest brains in the country, but without farmers on the ground to deliver them, those plans will just be pieces of paper sat in a draw, achieving nothing.

And the Conservatives have done just that − cutting the incomes of farmers, throwing them under a bus in trade deals, and completely failing to give farmers the funding support they need to deliver environmental goods, with many farms tragically going bust as a result.

“The Liberal Democrats will support investment and innovation in tidal and wave power, and we’d also remove the Conservatives’ unnecessary restrictions on new solar and wind power”

That’s why the Liberal Democrats would accelerate the roll-out of the new Environmental Land Management schemes, properly funding them with an extra £1bn a year to support profitable, sustainable and nature-friendly farming.

Britain has huge untapped potential to produce our own power, creating many jobs in the process. For example, Britain has the second-biggest tidal range on planet Earth after Canada, and yet we use next to none of it.

The Liberal Democrats will support investment and innovation in tidal and wave power, and we’d also remove the Conservatives’ unnecessary restrictions on new solar and wind power.

We’d also help to create jobs by investing in energy storage, including green hydrogen, pumped storage, and battery capability.

One of the biggest ways we can achieve net-zero is through housing. A few years ago, a report from the National Housing Federation found that England’s homes produce more carbon emissions every year than is produced by all of our country’s cars.

There has been some great work done by local organisations and charities, such as the wonderful Cumbria Action for Sustainability in my part of the world, who help to give energy saving advice to local homes and businesses. But we need the government to be leading the way on this.

In our general election manifesto, we pledged to launch an emergency Home Energy Upgrade programme, with free insulation and heat pumps for low-income households. We would ensure that all new homes are zero-carbon.

This will not only help us to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, but it will also be a huge boost in us reducing energy bills for those who are struggling. These are just some of the highlights of our positive plan to tackle the climate emergency and help us leave behind a country and a planet that our children and grandchildren can be proud of.

This article was originally published in The Path To Net Zero supplement circulated alongside The House magazine. To find out more visit The Path To Net Zero hub.

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