The Liberal Democrats this morning officially launched its new manifesto.

As expected it talks about many items with a wide remit, but Elmhurst have taken the elements that refer to climate change and affect energy and energy use specifically in buildings. The following is hopefully a quick synopsis guide to the ambitions of the Liberal Democratic Party which we will also provide for the other major parties when published.

Elmhurst are not political, but we feel it important to understand the claims by leading political parties in the energy efficiency sector.

On Europe they state:

“Maintaining environmental standards: The European Union has created the highest environmental standards in the world. We have a duty to future generations to protect our environment and tackle climate change. Liberal Democrats will ensure that everything is done to maintain those high standards in UK law, including the closest possible cooperation on climate and energy policy”

On the Economy and Business they lead with a very clear ‘green’ agenda:

“Britain needs an economy that creates jobs and opportunities. The Conservative’s actions risk our future, relying on debt to prop up growth. We will build an economy that works for the long term: prosperous, green, and fair.”

With a clear ambitious new build programme statement:

“New direct spending on house-building to help build 300,000 homes a year by 2022.”

Under Innovation, science and new technology:

“Build on the Coalition’s industrial strategy, working with sectors which are critical to Britain’s ability to trade internationally, creating more ‘Catapult’ innovation and technology centres and backing private investment in particular in green innovation.”

In spreading opportunities to the regions, they state:

“Provide assistance to areas heavily dependent on fossil fuel industries, such as the North East of Scotland, to diversify away from these industries.”

“Give the immediate go-ahead to Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project.”

Building more and better homes: The Liberal Democrats will:

“set an ambitious target of increasing the rate of housebuilding to 300,000 a year – almost double the current level. These new houses must be sustainably planned to ensure that excessive pressure is not placed on existing infrastructure.”

“We will ensure that half a million affordable, energy-efficient homes are built by the end of the Parliament.”

“Create at least ten new Garden Cities in England, providing tens of thousands of high-quality new zero carbon homes.”

In Buying and renting, they have a series of targets notably:

“Help people who cannot afford a deposit by introducing a new Rent to Own model where rent payments give tenants an increasing stake in the property, owning it outright after 30 years.

Improve renting by banning lettings fees for tenants, capping up-front deposits, and increasing minimum standards in rented homes.

Help young people into the rental market by establishing a new Help to Rent scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.”

In a low carbon energy and green jobs section, they really state their wide intent on climate change:

“In government, we championed green energy, and oversaw the trebling of renewable electricity generation. But the Conservatives have repeatedly cut support for green energy producers – damaging the environment and costing British jobs. Liberal Democrats will expand renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions, cutting dependence on fossil fuel imports and generating more jobs and prosperity. We will:

  • Pass a Zero Carbon Britain Act to set new legally binding targets to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2040 and to zero by 2050.
  • Set up a British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank to mobilise investment into the low carbon and sustainable infrastructure the UK needs to remain competitive.
  • Support the Paris agreement by ensuring the UK meets its own climate commitments and plays a leadership role in international efforts to combat climate change.
  • Expand renewable energy, aiming to generate 60% of electricity from renewables by 2030, restoring government support for solar PV and onshore wind in appropriate locations (helping meet climate targets at least cost) and building more electricity interconnectors to underpin this higher reliance on renewables.
  • Support investment in cutting-edge technologies including energy storage, smart grid technology, hydrogen technologies, off-shore wind, and tidal power (including giving the go-ahead for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon), and investing heavily in research and development.
  • Support an ambitious carbon capture and storage programme, which is essential for delivering clean industrial growth.
  • Oppose ‘fracking’ because of its adverse impact on climate change, the energy mix, and the local environment.
  • Accept that new nuclear power stations can play a role in electricity supply provided concerns about safety, disposal of waste and cost are adequately addressed, new technology is incorporated, and there is no public subsidy for new build.
  • Maintain membership of Euratom, ensuring continued nuclear co-operation, research funding, and access to nuclear fuels.”

They further cement this with more detail for greener homes and lower energy bills:

“More than two million families – one in ten households in England – cannot afford to heat their home properly.

Liberal Democrats will reduce energy bills permanently by improving home insulation and encouraging small-scale, community and local authority renewable schemes. We will make saving energy a top infrastructure priority, slashing energy bills and carbon emissions, creating thousands of jobs and helping end the fuel poverty crisis once and for all. We will:

  • Pass a new Green Buildings Act to set new energy efficiency targets, including a long-term ambition for every home in England to reach at least an energy rating of Band C by 2035.
  • Ensure that at least four million homes are made highly energy efficient (Band C) by 2022, with priority given to fuel-poor households.
  • Restore the Zero Carbon Standard for new homes which was set by Liberal Democrats in government and since abandoned by the Conservatives, increasing the standard steadily and extending it to non-domestic buildings by 2022.
  • Expand community energy schemes, encourage councils to develop community energy saving projects and local electricity generation and promote city-scale demonstration projects in electric vehicles and clean energy.
  • Continue to back new entrants to the energy market, aiming for at least 30% of the household market to be supplied by competitors to the ‘Big 6’ by 2022.”

On international development a commitment to climate change policies by stating they will:

“Provide greater resources for international environmental cooperation, particularly on climate change and on actions to tackle illegal and unsustainable trade in timber, wildlife, ivory, and fish.”

Elmhurst have provided all the parties with a copy of the Elmhurst Manifesto and ask that they commit to creating an energy efficient society.

We hope you find this synopsis useful, but the full manifesto can be found below.

 


 For the full Manifesto: http://www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto

 

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