Five new laws for a greener Britain

The Liberal Democrat manifesto will include plans for five new laws to protect the environment, it has been announced today.

The manifesto plans include legal targets for clean air and water, an end to dirty coal power stations and an ambitious decarbonisation target for the electricity sector.

Liberal Democrats in government have worked hard to keep the environment at the top of the agenda. The party wants to go further and build on their achievements in Government in areas including Britain’s rise in renewable energy, the Green Investment Bank and record investment in our railways. 

The plans include new rights to access green space, new marine and coastal reserves, the roll out of an electric vehicle charging point network, ambitious waste reduction plans and new regulations to boost energy efficiency and renewable heat to cut energy bills.

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The five green laws are:

  1. A Nature Bill: key measures include legal targets for biodiversity, clean air, clean water and access to green space, extending the Right to Roam and establishing new marine and coastal reserves.
  2. A Heating and Energy Efficiency Bill: key measures include building on the Green Deal with a national programme to raise the energy efficiency standards for all Britain’s households.  We will legislate to boost renewable and district heating programmes and heat saving standards.
  3. A Zero Waste Britain Bill: key measures include establishing a “Stern Report” on resource use, with binding targets and a clear action plan to reduce waste and end biodegradable landfill.
  4. A Zero Carbon Britain Bill: key measures include introducing a decarbonisation target for electricity generation, expanding the powers of the Green Investment Bank and banning electricity generated from unabated coal.
  5. A Green Transport Bill: key measures include establishing a full network of charging points for electric cars, only allowing low emission vehicles on the roads from 2040 and reforming planning law to ensure new developments are designed around walking, cycling and public transport.

Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said:

“The environment has always been a top priority for the Liberal Democrats and while we have achieved a huge amount on our green agenda in the Coalition, it’s hardly a secret that this has been one of the biggest areas of tension.

“Liberal Democrats see our duty to protect our environment for future generations as a central political and moral challenge. This is not something we can, or should, try and sidestep. In this Parliament, we’ve made a big step forward particularly on green energy, but other areas have not seen such progress. So we want to use the next Parliament to make a major leap forward on the environmental agenda across the board.

“Our five green laws will focus on a range of environmental issues that people really care about - air quality for health, access to green space and tree planting. And we want to make it as easy as possible to go green and by introducing higher new standards, industries from construction through to waste, heating and transport will have to help us all become more sustainable – as many leading, innovating firms are already doing.  

“Between now and next May, the Liberal Democrats will be putting forward these new green ideas and asking people for their views so we can finalise them for our General Election manifesto.

“While everyone knows the Tories have been an obstacle to our greener vision, people have forgotten that Labour simply failed to deliver on these important areas when they were in government.

“So the choice is clear: if you care about the environment and want to see a greener, cleaner Britain then only the Liberal Democrats can deliver this in Government for you.”​


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