Lib Dem manifesto to focus on zero waste

The Liberal Democrat (Lib Dem) party has announced that its political manifesto for the next general election will include plans for five new laws to protect the environment, including those for zero waste.

According to the party, the Lib Dems in the Coalition Government ‘have worked hard to keep the environment at the top of the agenda’, but the party ‘wants to go further’ in the next election.

As such, it is proposing that if it were elected into power next year, it would introduce five new ‘green’ laws.

These are:

  • A ‘Zero Waste Britain’ Bill that will involve ‘binding targets’ on resource use and a ‘clear action plan to reduce waste and end biodegradable landfill’. These would sit alongside a ‘Stern Report’ on resource use;
  • A ‘Heating and Energy Efficiency’ Bill’ that will focus on improving the energy efficiency of households and include legislation to boost renewable and district heating programmes and heat saving standards; 
  • A ‘Zero Carbon Britain’ Bill that will include a decarbonisation target for electricity generation and a ban on electricity generation from unabated coal. It would also expand the powers of the Green Investment Bank;
  • A ‘Green Transport’ Bill that will: only allow low-emission vehicles on the roads from 2040; reform planning law to ‘ensure new developments are designed around walking, cycling and public transport’; and establish a ‘full network’ of charging points for electric cars; and
  • A ‘Nature’ Bill that will: set legal targets for biodiversity, clean air, clean water and access to green space; extend the right to roam; and establish new marine and coastal reserves.

The Labour Party has already announced that it would ban food waste from landfill if it were to come into power in 2015.

The Tories have been an obstacle to [the Lib Dems’] greener vision’

Speaking of the manifesto plans, Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “The environment has always been a top priority for the Liberal Democrats and while we have achieved a huge amount on our green agenda in the coalition, it’s hardly a secret that this has been one of the biggest areas of tension.

“Liberal Democrats see our duty to protect our environment for future generations as a central political and moral challenge. This is not something we can, or should, try and sidestep. In this parliament, we’ve made a big step forward particularly on green energy, but other areas have not seen such progress. So we want to use the next parliament to make a major leap forward on the environmental agenda across the board.

“Our five green laws will focus on a range of environmental issues that people really care about – air quality for health, access to green space and tree planting. And we want to make it as easy as possible to go green and by introducing higher new standards, industries from construction through to waste, heating and transport will have to help us all become more sustainable – as many leading, innovating firms are already doing. 

“Between now and next May, the Liberal Democrats will be putting forward these new green ideas and asking people for their views so we can finalise them for our general election manifesto.”

Davey added that the party will put its ‘green laws’ forward for public consultation between ‘now and next May’ before they are finalised.

He concluded: “While everyone knows the Tories have been an obstacle to [the Lib Dems’] greener vision, people have forgotten that Labour simply failed to deliver on these important areas when they were in government.

“So the choice is clear: if you care about the environment and want to see a greener, cleaner Britain then only the Liberal Democrats can deliver this in government for you.”​

Read more about the five ‘green laws’.