The Lib Dems have pledged to set statutory targets for to increase reuse and recycling in their Manifesto, published today ahead of the General Election. The Party has also said that it will ensure renewable energy will make up a third of the UK’s electricity by 2020 and that it will invest in research & development into “cleaner energy”.
The Liberal Democrat Party is the final of the “main five” political parties to publish it manifesto in the run up to the General Election in three week’s time (7 May).
With regards to the environment, waste and resources, the party has pledges to pass a “nature law” to “protect nature and cut waste”.
Targets will be set for cleaning up air and water, improving habitats for wildlife and plants, and increasing re-use and recycling – including statutory targets for government.
The Party says it will:
- implement a statutory recycling target of 70% for waste in England
- implement a new legally-binding target for Zero Carbon Britain by 2050, monitored and audited by the CCC.
- give full borrowing powers to the Green Investment Bank to boost investment in low carbon technologies
- provide a council tax discount for significant improvements in energy efficiency in homes
- give new powers for government to introduce new energy efficiency and heat saving regulations.
“Despite Conservative attempts to block our green policies, we have ensured this Government has been the greenest ever. Investment in renewables has more than doubled, and we’re using twice as much renewable electricity…”
It says it will identify the key resources being used unsustainably and recommend legally binding targets for reducing their net consumption, it will increase the penalties for enforcement and punishment of environmental crime and use the proceeds to “fund the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the sector of the Environmental Agency that tackles pollution related crime.”
The party has pledge Five Green Laws, which was announced earlier this year, along with plans to remove all exemptions for single use bags in the next parliament, including paper and biodegradable bags.
As part of a new Nature Bill, included in its Five Green Laws, which is aimed at reducing the levels of litter in cities and the countryside, the exemptions could raise significant money for good causes and reduce the costs of cleaning up litter, the Lib Dems have said.
The party also takes credit for the 5p plastic bag charge due to take effect in October, which expected to raise £730m and deliver £60m of savings a year in litter clean-up costs.
The Party’s five green laws are:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The Lib Dem Manifesto states: “Liberal Democrats have been campaigning against climate change for longer than any other political party. Despite Conservative attempts to block our green policies, we have ensured this Government has been the greenest ever. Investment in renewables has more than doubled, and we’re using twice as much renewable electricity…
“Ed Davey spearheaded the UK push to persuade the EU to set an ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030.
“We will carry on greening our electricity, getting rid of coal generation by 2025 and setting an ambitious power sector “decarbonisation” target. We will grow the green economy of the future with smart investment.”
Ray Georgeson, Chief Executive of the Resource Association, said: “The Resource Association is pleased to see the Liberal Democrats become the first of the major parties in its General Election manifesto to expressly commit to institutional reform to improve co-ordination of resources policy across Government.
“A senior Cabinet Committee that oversees a new resource management unit mirrors industry proposals for an Office for Resource Management. This is welcomed, and we look forward to proposals from others.
“Alongside a commitment to the urgently needed review of the impact of climate change on the availability of resources (the so-called Stern for Resources) this is potentially an important step forward for UK resources policy.”