Thursday, 19 February 2015

Nature protected for everyone

Liberal Democrats in government are proud to have kept the environment on the agenda.

In government we have planted a million trees in England and are introducing a 5p plastic bag charge to help clean up our environment and protect Britain's natural habitat.

We want to build on this by bringing forward a Nature Act and prioritising the environment in the next Parliament.

Our plans include a package of measures to protect bees and oceans, and a commitment to put the Natural Capital Committee on a statutory footing so it can provide advice to Government and ensure that nature is at the heart of government decision-making.

We also want to make sure that everyone has access to nature and will do this through measures such as completing the coastal path; extending the Right to Roam; and creating a new public body to protect our forests for future generations.

We plan to fight climate change by introducing Five Green Laws. These are:

  • A Nature Bill: key measures include legal targets for biodiversity, clean air, clean water and access to green space, extending the Right to Roam and establishing new marine and coastal reserves.
  • A Heating and Energy Efficiency Bill: key measures include building on the Green Deal with a national programme to raise the energy efficiency standards for all Britain’s households.  We will legislate to boost renewable and district heating programmes and heat saving standards.
  • A Zero Waste Britain Bill: key measures include establishing a “Stern Report” on resource use, with binding targets and a clear action plan to reduce waste and end biodegradable landfill.
  • A Zero Carbon Britain Bill: key measures include introducing a decarbonisation target for electricity generation, expanding the powers of the Green Investment Bank and banning electricity generated from unabated coal.
  • A Green Transport Bill: key measures include establishing a full network of charging points for electric cars, only allowing low emission vehicles on the roads from 2040 and reforming planning law to ensure new developments are designed around walking, cycling and public transport.