A child and two adults look at a sunset

A flourishing environment, with fair access to nature for all.

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 and Energy

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.

Photo a man in a blue shirt and a yellow safety helmet crouches on a roof of a building that has solar panels on it.

We will:

  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045.
  • Invest significantly in renewable power so that 80% of the UK’s electricity is generated from renewables by 2030.
  • Provide free retrofits for low-income homes and generous tax incentives for other households to reduce energy consumption, emissions, fuel bills and reliance on gas, and help to end fuel poverty.
  • Restructure national and local government to deliver net zero by creating a Net Zero Delivery Authority and strengthening the powers and resources of local authorities to cut emissions in their area, and promote community energy, including requiring all new homes to be fitted with solar panels.
  • Plant at least 60 million trees a year to help reach net zero and restore woodland habitats, and increase the use of sustainable wood in construction.
  • Ensure that the UK’s net zero commitments are at the forefront of any international trade agreement and represent the UK’s minimum negotiating position.
  • Improving standards for new homes to ensure they are warm, cheap to heat and produce zero emissions.
  • Give local authorities a key role to cut emissions in their own area, including more powers and funding.
  • Make pensions green by requiring funds to comply with the climate goals in the Paris Agreement.

Natural Environment

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.

A stream passes through a meadow

Liberal Democrats will take strong action to tackle these problems by:

  • Setting meaningful and binding targets to stop the decline of our natural environment and double nature by 2050: doubling the size of the Protected Area Network, doubling the area of most important wildlife habitats and doubling the abundance of species.
  • Strengthening the Office for Environmental Protection and providing more funding to the Environment Agency and Natural England to help protect our environment.
  • Ending sewage discharges by transforming water companies into public benefit companies, banning bonuses for water bosses until discharges and leaks end, and replacing Ofwat with a tough new regulator with new powers to prevent sewage dumps.
  • Support farmers properly in restoring woodland and peatland, creating new natural flood protections and managing land to encourage species recovery and carbon storage, while producing food for the table.


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.

  • Extend and complete the electrification of Britain’s rail network, improve stations, enhance disabled access, reopen smaller stations and restore twin-track lines to major routes.
  • Enable and encourage people to switch to electric vehicles with more charging infrastructure supported by a step-change in local grid capacity, a reduction in VAT on electric vehicles to 5%, and a requirement that every new car and small van sold from 2030 produces zero emissions.
  • Pass a Clean Air Act, based on World Health Organization guidelines, enforced by a new Air Quality Agency.
  • Transform how people travel by creating new cycling and walking networks separate from motorised traffic.

Back our plan for the environment

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.

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