Everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of our wonderful natural environment, and our children should inherit the future they deserve. The climate and nature emergencies are the most pressing threats to prosperity facing the UK and the world.
We must act now: investing in green technologies and skills training, cutting air and water pollution, and taking a new approach to farming and the countryside. The UK can lead the world with innovation and ingenuity, while boosting the economy and enhancing everyone’s quality of life.
We will hold big companies to account by giving them a duty to protect the environment, including banning water companies from dumping raw sewage into rivers, lakes and coastal areas.
Climate change is the biggest threat to human existence. We urgently need to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C or we will face irreversible climate change which will cause catastrophic land loss and make parts of our planet inhabitable.
Millions of people are already being directly affected by large increases in wildfires, floods, heatwaves, droughts and sea level rises. The war in Ukraine has reinforced the need to significantly reduce Britain’s dependence on fossil fuels and grow the renewables sector in order to enhance energy security and achieve net zero.
The Conservative Government has no credible plans to reduce emissions fast enough to avert irreversible climate change. Their plans for home insulation are woefully inadequate. Rather than reducing our dependence on fossil fuels they are supporting greater oil and gas production and have even given the green light to a new coal mine. The independent Climate Change Committee warns that the Government’s “current strategy will not deliver net zero”.
Liberal Democrats place tackling the climate crisis at the center of all our policies. We understand that our whole economy needs to change and if done successfully will create tens of thousands of jobs while cutting emissions and ensuring that the UK becomes a world leader in moving to net zero.
The value of our shared natural environment becomes clearer with each passing year. Liberal Democrats will safeguard and enhance the environment.
Our natural environment is suffering. The UK is failing to meet 17 of its 20 biodiversity targets. The Government’s own regulatory body, the Office for Environmental Protection, has rebuked the Conservatives for their lack of action on tackling the nature crisis.
Nowhere is the Conservatives’ lack of care for the environment more apparent than in their failure to tackle sewage discharges. In the last three years there have been more than one million instances of sewage discharges into our rivers, lakes and coastal areas, lasting over 7.5 million hours.
Meanwhile, water company executives paid themselves £51 million in 2020 and 2021, including £30 million in bonuses, benefits and incentives.
Liberal Democrats know that farmers are key allies in the fight against climate change, preventing flooding and recovering our natural environment. They do this all while producing high quality food for our tables. Liberal Democrats support the move towards paying farmers for producing public goods. But they need proper support to do so.
Liberal Democrats will take strong action to tackle these problems by:
Liberal Democrats believe that the transport sector is vital for our transition to net zero. People need a transport system that is safe, reliable, affordable and doesn’t contribute to air pollution or climate change.
Liberal Democrats will invest in clean public transport, helping to meet our environmental targets while improving local, regional and national connectivity.
We must act now: investing in green technologies and skills training, cutting air and water pollution, and taking a new approach to farming and the countryside.