Safeguarding the environment with Five Green Laws

Bold policies to protect the future of the environment were debated and accepted as a key plank of the Liberal Democrat General Election Manifesto at the party's Spring Conference. 

Building on the success of the party’s environmental record in government including the launch of the Green Investment Bank and record investment in railways and renewable energy.


Lib Dems have detailed plans to go further and put green commitments at the heart of the next Parliament’s legislative programme.

The five green laws will include regulations to cut household bills by increasing energy efficiency, legal targets for clean air and water, radical waste reduction plans, the introduction of a decarbonisation bill and reforms to planning law to encourage cycling.

Lib Dem Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change Ed Davey said: “The Lib Dems are the only party to have nailed their green credentials to the mast, and set out how this radical agenda will be delivered in a way that is both credible and affordable.

“Protecting the environment is in the Lib Dem’s DNA, and having these five Green Laws on the front page of our Manifesto shows our intent.

“From day one of the next Parliament we will have our green commitments on the table, from cleaning up the air we breathe, to greening the energy and transport we use.”

Details of the five green laws are below:

Zero Carbon Bill

Introducing a Zero Carbon Britain Bill in the next parliament to end Britain’s adverse impact on climate change for good by 2050.

Zero Waste Bill

Treble fines and claw back £500 million for the taxpayer by clamping down on organisations which fly-tip to deliberately evade tax and review the tax structure across landfill, incineration and collection.

Green Homes Bill

New Green Homes Bill will insulate up to 10 million homes by 2025 and offer at least £100 a year off Council Tax for ten years when energy improvements are carried out.

Nature Bill

Establish the Natural Capital Committee on a statutory footing to provide advice to Government to ensure that nature is at the heart of government decision-making and that government departments are held to account for achieving progress against commitments to improving the natural environment.

Green Transport Bill

Transport has a significant role to play in reducing carbon emissions. In the UK, transport is responsible for around 25% of our carbon emissions and is the fastest growing source of carbon emissions. We will bring forward a comprehensive package of transport policies to continue to build a people-centred, sustainable, safe travel system that helps the economy grow.


Notes to Editors:

Zero Carbon Bill

Other measures within the Zero Carbon Bill include:

  • A new legally binding target for Zero Carbon Britain by 2050
  • A new legally binding decarbonisation target for the power sector by 2030 to support investment in all forms of low carbon electricity
  • Establishing an Office for Accelerated Low Carbon Innovation to fast-track new green tech including tidal power, renewable heat, ultra-low emission vehicles, energy storage and CCS
  • Applying Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) to existing coal plants from 2025 to end use of unabated coal generation
  • Full borrowing powers to the Green Investment Bank, to further boost investment in low carbon technology

Zero Waste Bill

A “Responsibility Deal” between government and business to ensure packaging for consumer products are designed for recycling rather than designed for dumping  

  • Commission a Stern type review to undertake a UK-wide review on how Britain’s waste can be used as a resource to generate revenue for the economy and the possibility of legally binding targets on waste

Green Homes Bill

The new Bill would ensure these achievements are built on, incentivising people to insulate their Offering at least £100 each year off your Council Tax for 10 years, when you significantly upgrade the energy efficiency of your home

Other plans under the bill would include

  • Reforming the Green Deal ‘pay as you save’ scheme into a new ‘Green Homes Loan Scheme’ which would  extend the current scheme to include renewable heat and electricity
  • A new ‘Feed out Tariff’ for investment in Solid Wall Insulation, the most expensive and disruptive type of energy efficiency measure

Nature Bill

Bring forward a package to protect bees and pollinators and help them recover

Design and adopt a National Food Strategy and encourage local councils to adopt a food plan in order to foster the growth of local food economies, from field to fork.

Other plans under the Nature Bill would include

  • Bring forward a package to protect bees and pollinators and help them recover
  • Design and adopt a National Food Strategy and encourage local councils to adopt a food plan in order to foster the growth of local food economies, from field to fork

Green Transport Bill

Other plans under the Green Transport Bill would include;  

  • Fast track support for the growing electric vehicle market, starting with implementing a full network of charging points for electric cars, and a target of 2040
  • Make progress towards implementing the recommendations of the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report
  • We will update planning law to ensure new infrastructure developments are designed around walking, cycling and public transport
  • Oppose any increase to the national speed limit
  • We will undertake a review of road transport taxation
  • Where 20mph isn’t achieving the saving of children’s lives, give local authorities the power to reduce the speed limit outside schools to 10mph

Watch the full debate here:

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