The final Lib Dem red line – and it’s green

Autumn in the woods
As I covered in Liberal Democrat Newswire #64, the final red line unveiled by the Liberal Democrats for any hung Parliament is on the environment and fleshes out the brief manifesto front page wording.

Here’s more on what it entails:

Liberal Democrats will not join a Government unless it commits to lead the fight on climate change and puts in place a law to protect green space and wildlife, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said.

It means a future Government must play a lead role in the Paris 2015 climate negotiations to try and keep global temperature rises within two degrees of pre-industrial levels.

The party will also insist on pushing forward its radical plans to protect the environment with a Nature Act, which will include improving water and air quality as well as increase recycling rates.

Nick Clegg said: “Environmentalism is in the DNA of the Liberal Democrats, we have consistently led the debate on improving the natural environment and tackling climate change. We simply would not join a Government which did not continue to lead this fight.

“For five years we have fought sceptical Tories to ensure we were the greenest Government ever, while investing billions in renewables, setting out ambitious climate change targets and creating the Green Investment Bank.”

The party will take further action to reduce emissions from the power and transport sector, as well as improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

On the natural environment Liberal Democrats will take action to improve biodiversity and access to green space in a Nature Act, including:

  • Designate an ecologically coherent network of UK marine protected areas by 2020, and create a one million square kilometre southern Atlantic Ocean reserve
  • Follow the Independent Panel of Forestry recommendations to protect the national forest estate, and plant at least 750,000 trees a year
  • Increase the amount of accessible green space including through the creation of new “National Nature Parks”
  • Introduce a legally-binding target for Zero Carbon Britain by 2050, to be monitored and audited by the Climate Change Committee, and introduce a national resilience plan for adapting to climate change


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