The climate crisis is the most pressing issue of this election - we need to take action now, not in five years time. The Lib Dems will make sure we engage everyone on the climate debate by setting up a Citizens Climate Assembly to discuss climate issues and find consensus.
The Liberal Democrats will:
Establish UK and local Citizens’ Climate Assemblies to engage the public in tackling the climate emergency.
Create a statutory duty on all local authorities to produce a Zero Carbon Strategy, including plans for local energy, transport and land use, and devolve powers and funding to enable every council to implement it.
Regulate financial services to encourage green investments
The climate emergency can only be tackled effectively by ensuring that every relevant decision taken by national government, local councils, businesses, investors, communities and households makes progress towards the net zero objective. We will set a new legally binding target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2045 at the latest, and implement a comprehensive climate action plan, cutting emissions across all sectors. To realise these goals, we will:
- Require all companies registered in the UK and listed on UK stock exchanges to set targets consistent with the Paris Agreement on climate change and to report on their implementation; and establish a general corporate duty of care for the environment and human rights (also see Better Business section p.21).
- Regulate financial services to encourage green investments, including requiring pension funds and managers to show that their portfolio investments are consistent with the Paris Agreement, and creating new powers for regulators to act if banks and other investors are not managing climate risks properly.
- Establish a Department for Climate Change and Natural Resources, appoint a cabinet-level Chief Secretary for Sustainability in the Treasury to coordinate government-wide action to make the economy sustainable resource-efficient and zero-carbon, and require every government agency to account for its contribution towards meeting climate targets.
- Establish UK and local Citizens’ Climate Assemblies to engage the public in tackling the climate emergency.
- Create a statutory duty on all local authorities to produce a Zero Carbon Strategy, including plans for local energy, transport and land use, and devolve powers and funding to enable every council to implement it.
- Guarantee an Office of Environmental Protection that is fully independent of government, and possesses powers and resources to enforce compliance with climate and environmental targets.
- Increase government expenditure on climate and environmental objectives, reaching at least five per cent of the total within five years.
- Support investment and innovation in zero-carbon and resource-efficient infrastructure and technologies by creating a new Green Investment Bank and increasing funding for Innovate UK and new Catapult innovation and technology centres on farming and land use and on carbon dioxide removal.
- Implement the UK’s G7 pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, and provide Just Transition funding for areas and communities negatively affected by the transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.