Liberal Democrats setting the pace on the green agenda – Simon Hughes updates party members

Lib Dem Deputy Leader Simon Hughes has emailed party members to update them on the party’s influence in government, in promoting the green agenda. He highlights the Energy Bill, the fourth Carbon Budget, and the Green Investment Bank, detailed this week by Nick Clegg and Vince Cable.

It’s been a great month for Liberal Democrats, who are setting the pace on the green agenda!

  • Two weeks ago, Chris Huhne, as Energy and Climate Change Secretary, led for the government when his Department’s Energy Bill received its second reading in the House of Commons. This creates the framework for the Green Deal, a comprehensive programme of energy efficiency improvements for housing and office buildings, cutting both energy bills and emissions. Householders and businesses will be able to see up to £10,000 invested in insulation, at no up-front cost, paying back the investment through the lower energy bills they will enjoy as a result.
  • Last week, Chris Huhne announced the government’s ‘carbon budget’ for the mid-2020s, setting a legal requirement for a 50 per cent reduction (from 1990) by 2025. This creates the certainty businesses need to put in place long-term investments in the expanding low-carbon industries – renewable electricity, electric cars, home insulation. This is the most ambitious legally binding carbon budget set by any government anywhere; and by putting the UK at the forefront of the international debate, we will be able to push the EU and the international community towards further emissions cuts world-wide.
  • And this week, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, and Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, revealed details of the Green Investment Bank, the world’s first green development bank. Up and running from April 2012, this will use an initial £3 billion of public money to lever an additional £15 billion in private investment towards the low-carbon opportunities that are opening up – particularly in offshore wind and energy efficiency.

I was this party’s first environment spokesman over twenty years ago. It makes me proud to see what so many of us campaigned for all those years ago being made a reality now we’re in government. This is a key part of what we Liberal Democrats bring to the coalition, and none of this would have happened without us. As Nick said yesterday; ‘the LibDems have long been the greenest of the main three parties – the difference now is that it is not just a green party but a green party of government’.

Simon Hughes MP

Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons and President of the Green Liberal Democrats

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8 Comments

  • Andrew Waller 25th May '11 - 9:09pm

    Just so long as the southern contentment continues then this party is never going to leave its point of denial. I expected better from Simon. It is as offensive.

    Andrew Waller

    One of Clegg’s 747

  • Simon McGrath 25th May '11 - 9:42pm

    very strange opening comment

  • To be a Lib Dem, you need more than your share of resilience. The flip side of resilience is blind, unrealistic optimism. We have always had more than our share of blind faith, unrealistic optimism about our prospects, and denialism about our problems. Never has it been more important for us to cure ourselves of these crippling faults.

  • George Turner 26th May '11 - 1:09am

    Clearly Simon was talking about our achievements on green issues when writing this. Simon fully understands the difficulty many of us have faced in local elections around the country earlier this month having campaigned across the country in the run up to May 5th. For Simon’s views on the election results please see his statement on his website here: http://simonhughes.org.uk/en/article/2011/486842/hughes-nobody-should-write-off-the-liberal-democrats

  • Sam Matthews 26th May '11 - 10:36am

    It’s sheep like George that do even more damage. Instead of ignoring the points people are making about that stupid opening line you direct us to a blog entry full of spin. Wow we got something percent of votes, let’s have a party, oh hang on we lost 800 councillors……..
    I appeared with Simon ‘abstain’ Hughes on Newsnight the day after the election and I can fully believe that he wrote that first line.
    Until the party stop treating us like Neanderthals and drop this spin, we might be able to clarify a new identity and future.

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