Lib Dems set out green agenda in UK election manifesto

Libdem logoBy DARA BUTTERFIELD

The Liberal Democrats have announced their rlection manifesto with pledges for a ‘Zero Carbon Britain’ and increased support for the renewables industry.

The document also sets out plans to extend the Green Investment Bank, increase support for renewables including tidal and carbon capture storage, and using tax funds from shale to fund energy efficiency and renewable heat.

The manifesto said: “We can say we will protect our environment because we have almost trebled the amount of electricity from renewable energy in this Parliament.

“We have made a big start in government: reforming the banking system; creating the world’s first Green Investment Bank; enabling unprecedented investment in low-carbon energy…

“Whether it’s fighting for proper investment in renewable energy, or working to build and high-skill, flexible labour market: Liberal Democrats will ensure Britain doesn’t return to the mistakes of the past.” In the document the party promises to:

  • Pass a Zero Carbon Britain Act to set a new legally binding target to bring net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
  • Realise the full potential of the Green Investment Bank by increasing its capitalisation, expanding its remit, allowing it to raise funds independently and enabling it to issue green bonds.
  • Grow the market for green products and services with steadily higher green criteria in public procurement policy, extending procurement requirements more widely through the public sector including to the NHS and Academy school. In particular we will deliver ambitious reductions in energy use.
  • Increase research and development and commercialisation support in four key low-carbon technologies where Britain could lead the world: tidal power, carbon capture and storage, energy storage and ultra-low emission vehicles.
  • Establish a Low-carbon Transition Fund using 50% of any tax revenues from shale gas to fund energy efficiency, community energy, low-carbon innovation and renewable heat.
  • Require that once a shale gas well is finished, it must be offered at no cost to geothermal heat developers, to enable faster expansion of this renewable technology.

Meanwhile the UKIP manifesto has said the party will: “Seek to secure the survival and expansion of our indigenous coal industry in the form of deep, opencast and drift mining, drop all subsidies for wind and solar power, to ensure a level playing field for coal, and abolish green taxes and levies.”

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