Business figures back Lib Dem green plans
Members of the resource and energy industries have written an open letter about the Liberal Democrat Party, welcoming its pledges to commit to protecting the environment and resources, and commending its track record on green issues.
The letter, published in The Independent on Sunday (26 April)– the same day the party unveiled its Environment Manifesto – is signed in a personal capacity by a range of figures from the resource and energy sectors, including Ray Georgeson, Director of Ray Georgeson Resources Ltd, and the heads of several renewable energy and environmental businesses. It praises the Lib Dem record on green issues since it entered into coalition with the Conservatives.
Lib Dem track record praised
The letter claims that the Lib Dems, under the leadership of the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey, have delivered on aspects of the green agenda since 2010, through actions including:
- introducing a five-pence levy for plastic bags sold by large companies;
- securing £37 billion investment in renewable electricity;
- establishing the world’s first Green Investment Bank;
- encouraging Europe to agree a new more ambitious EU-wide climate change target; and
- planting over one million trees.
The signatories added that the party should also be praised for continuing to fight for the environment agenda ‘even when they met significant resistance’.
The letter reads: ‘When the coalition took office, both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats pledged to make it the “greenest government ever”.
‘Liberal Democrats kept to that pledge. Under the leadership of the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey, they have consistently acted to make this country cleaner, greener and more open to investment in renewables... [and] have an impressive record of achievements on climate change that deserves much wider recognition.’
The letter goes on to welcome the prominence of green issues in the Lib Dem manifesto, especially the proposed programme of Five Green Laws, which includes plans to introduce a Resource Efficiency and Zero Waste Act
The letter came as the party released its Environment Manifesto, which reiterates some of the party’s pledges on green issues.
In terms of resource efficiency, these include:
- tasking the Natural Capital Committee with producing a ‘Stern report’ on resource use, identifying resources being used unsustainably and recommending legally-binding targets for reducing their net consumption;
- establishing a statutory waste recycling target of 70 per cent in England;
- introducing incentives for businesses to improve resource efficiency;
- introducing regulation to promote design that enhances repairability, reuse and recycling;
- commissioning the Natural Capital Committee to investigate the potential for other resource taxes, including deposit-refund schemes; and
- increasing penalties for waste crime.
Releasing the Environment Manifesto on Sunday, outgoing Energy & Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “Protecting the environment, tackling climate change and delivering on the green agenda isn’t a nice to have, it’s essential and it’s in the Lib Dems’ DNA.
“We've delivered in the face of almost daily battles with the Tories on everything from onshore wind to keeping climate change in the geography curriculum. By putting our plan for five new Green Laws on the front of our manifesto, we’ve shown our intent to go further and faster if we’re in the next government.
“Having Lib Dems in government will insure our environment against the risk of sharp lurches to the left or right that would result in our green delivery coming to a grinding halt.”
Read the Liberal Democrat Environment Manifesto or find out more about the party’s commitments on resource efficiency and recycling in its full manifesto.