Tag Archives: climate change

Stephen Lloyd MP writes…Ed’s climate change deal shows how UK can reform EU


Yesterday the Prime Minister’s statement to Parliament reminded us thatthere are two EU stories around at the moment. Sadly one is getting far more attention than the other! One is about the Prime Minister “standing up to Europe” and refusing to pay a £1.7bn demand. The other which is ultimately of much greater significance, concerns the EU agreeing an ambitious climate change deal, under British leadership, as described by Catherine Bearder and Ed Davey recently on LDV.

Liberal Democrats can rightly be proud that as the greenest of the main British political parties and as “the party of in” we have shown …

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Carmichael talks green investment, energy and renewables

AlistairCarmichaelYesterday, Alistair Carmichael spoke at a Green investment conference in Edinburgh, which is, of course, home to the Green Investment Bank.

It was a strong pitch to persuade those attending that the Liberal Democrats are delivering in Government on policies that are both green and pro-businesss. Here are some of the highlights.

Being Scotland, there had to be a bit on the constitution, though, and the Smith Commission:

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Ed Davey MP writes…Signed, sealed and delivered, an ambitious climate change deal for Europe

Wind turbine - Some rights reserved by thomas vlWe’ve done it!  For Liberal Democrats in government, this EU climate deal is our most significant green win so far.  While Liberal Democrats are passionate about tackling climate change, the likes of Owen Paterson and UKIP seem to delight in talking down the threat that it poses, but that should make us even more determined to tell people why this deal is so crucial.

What have we achieved?  An ambitious Europe-wide climate change deal that will see greenhouse gases cut by at least 40% by 2030.  Other countries wanted a lower target, but I argued that the science demanded higher. And I was determined that if in next year’s UN climate talks other countries like the US and China show similar ambition, Europe should be ready to increase its efforts still further – so the words “at least” in the deal are more important than normal.

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Catherine Bearder MEP writes… EU climate targets thanks to Ed Davey and Lib Dems

Green wind farmThis week, European leaders including David Cameron thrashed out an agreement on the EU’s climate change targets up until 2030.

The EU has been a world leader in the fight against climate change, becoming the first region to set binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But in the face of the financial crisis, leaders have become more nervous and the momentum behind the drive towards a greener economy has started to wane.

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LibLink: Tim Farron: Don’t despair, we can help those whose lives are threatened by climate change

Tim farron photo by liberal democrats dave radcliffeTim Farron has been writing for the Guardian about the extent of the practical problems faced by communities around the world as a direct result of climate change. Last week he met with someone from the Philippines who knows only too well what climate change means to their islands:

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The Independent View: Bridging the gap between rhetoric and reality before May 2015

A few weeks ago the Liberal Democrats announced the five green laws they would introduce if they remain in Government after May 2015.  The detail from their pre-manifesto will be debated at Conference this week. As a staunch greenie, is it always nice to see a party putting the environment at the centre of their party’s pledges. At the last election, Friends of the Earth praised the Liberal Democrats for having the greenest manifesto of the three main parties (pipped to the top spot by the Greens).

But after nearly one term in office, there is now a big question over the party’s green credibility.  So there are three key questions on their green laws that the Liberal Democrats need to provide the right answers to – pronto.

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Ed Davey MP writes…Tackling climate change

Flooding in Cedar Rapids, IAI’m writing from the Climate Change Summit in New York, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. While Liberal Democrats don’t need reminding just how much of a threat climate change is – from the increased risks of flooding, to the impact on the world’s poorest – I thought it timely to give you an update on the progress we’ve made and what comes next.

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The Independent View: Why Lib Dem conference should vote to protect the country from climate change

Flooding in Cedar Rapids, IAYesterday saw the publication of the agenda for Liberal Democrat conference – including a particularly welcome motion on protecting the UK from the impacts of climate change.

‘Adapting to climate change’ (Policy Motion F19, debated at 9am on Monday 6th October) calls on the government to “Ensure flood defence spending is kept in line with that needed to protect against climate change impacts”. This is a vital commitment that we sincerely hope Lib Dem conference will support. It will directly help protect hundreds of thousands of households …

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The Independent View: Will Liberal Democrats remain the greenest party?

Since 2010 it has been clear that energy and the environment are policy areas where the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives have distinct views and voices within the coalition. The recent reshuffle of blue ministers, removing one of the Tories’ few true renewable energy supporters in Greg Barker, gave further evidence of this differentiation.

Now, as we look to the next five years, it is time for the parties to be clear on their commitment to a greener economy. The major renewable energy trade associations – representing wind, solar, biogas, hydropower and more – have launched a series of manifesto tests which will determine whether the parties are committed to decarbonising our energy system.

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Ed Davey writes… Delivering on climate change & delivering on fuel poverty

Ed Davey - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsI write this while on a visit to India. A few weeks ago I was in the US, and I’ve just left China. Why? These three countries are the world’s biggest emitters and the series of meetings I’m having all focus on paving the way for a global climate change deal next year. In the UK, and with our partners across the EU we are gaining momentum for an ambitious deal, which I hope will result in a domestic …

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Ed Davey: Non-nuclear energy approach is “negligent” and “risky” #slfconf

Ed Davey - photo by Paul WalterOn Monday, I summarised the appearances of Ed Davey at last weekend’s Social Liberal Forum conference in London. Here, I outline some of the views expressed and initiatives described by Ed on the day, including during a bloggers’ interview:

Using less energy

Fuel poverty is a serious issue. Energy inefficient building stock is a key cause.

The Green deal, Ed said, had not originally gone as well as it had been hoped. In Phase 1, there were just 250,000 assessments. Phase 2 is going better, and is on track to improve two million homes.

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Our Climate Change bulldog #slfconf

Ed Davey Social Liberal Forum conference Jul 19 2014 Photo by Paul Walter
WARNING: Contains strong hagiographic content, which some readers may find disturbing.

On Saturday, while much of the country was enjoying the sunshine, I spent two hours studying and listening to The Right Honourable Edward Davey MP FRSA.

In the wonderful surroundings of the new headquarters of Amnesty International, Ed addressed the Social Liberal Forum conference on “Energy and climate change – the balance between state and market”. He was then interviewed by four bloggers: Jonathan Calder, Matthew Hulbert,

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LibLink: Tim Farron: Does George Osborne really want to derail the future of our planet?

Earth Day 2007 - Atlantic ReflectionTim Farron was on punchy form when taking on George Osborne’s lack of ambition on climate change in an article in the Independent this week. He did not mince his words:

Osborne’s destructive rationale for overspending on our planned carbon budget is this: without a new strategy agreed, the UK would be ahead of its planned share of emissions cuts within the EU. It can therefore weaken its ambitions and still meet the old targets – there is nothing holding us to the necessary action to tackle

photo by: FlyingSinger
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The Independent View: Lib Dems must defend UK climate targets

Flooding in Cedar Rapids, IAThe past months have seen an upsurge of environmental concern. Following the wettest winter ever, and the starkest warnings yet from scientists about the perils of climate change, 23% of the public named ‘the environment’ as the most important issue facing Britain – higher than at any time since the late 1980s.

But, rather astonishingly, despite mounting evidence of the urgency for acting on global warming, there are moves within Government to weaken UK climate targets.

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Baroness Kate Parminter writes….5p charge on “icons of throwaway society is a victory for the environment”

Welcome to Portreath.It’s great to see the Queens Speech include a commitment to reduce the use of plastic bag carriers to help protect the environment.  It’s an issue I’ve campaigned on since I came to the Lords in 2010.

We used 7 billion single use carrier bags in UK supermarkets in 2012.  Plastic bags are highly visible litter on our streets and in our countryside; pose a threat to wildlife and their disposal contributes to our green house gas (GHG) emissions, taking 500 to 1,000 years to degrade.

Following the introduction of a …

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Edward Davey MP writes… Massive boost for clean, green energy

2008 - Evopod 1/10th Sea Trials @ PortaferryToday I have announced the award of 8 new contracts for renewable electricity projects which will provide around £12 billion of private sector investment and once built will contribute around 4% of Britain’s electricity capacity.

These projects will support 8500 jobs and our overall electricity reform plans will generate over 200,000 green jobs. These projects and the jobs created will be across Britain – from the Moray Firth to Liverpool Bay and from Teesside to Norfolk.

Five of the projects are for offshore …

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Ed Davey’s speech to the IPPR on climate change

Here’s how the Guardian previewed Ed Davey’s speech this afternoon to the Institute for Public Policy Research:

Britain’s climate change policy is under threat from a “diabolical cocktail” of nimbyism, denial of science and fear of Europe from politicians on the right, the energy secretary will say on Thursday.

Amid growing warnings about a potential link between global warming and extreme UK weather, Ed Davey will raise concerns that the politicial consensus about the need to tackle climate change is in danger of breaking down as some in the Conservative and Ukip parties try to discredit the science.

He will say that the actions of climate deniers are “undermining public trust in the scientific evidence for climate change” and that “we can see around us today the possible consequences of a world in which extreme weather events are much more likely”.

In his speech at the IPPR thinktank on Thursday, Davey will criticise those who seize on “any anomaly in the climate data to attempt to discredit the whole”.

Taking aim at “climate change denying Conservatism”, which he calls wilfully ignorant, he warns that it could create a diabolical cocktail that threatens the whole long-term structure of UK climate change and energy policy.

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Edward Davey MP writes…Lib Dem led British diplomacy paves way for global climate change deal

Liberal Democrats in Government are having a huge impact on tackling climate change, and today you’ve seen concrete evidence of how we’re winning the debate – not just in the UK, but across the EU and potentially beyond.

The main prize is huge – we’re working towards a global climate change deal that will be discussed at the critical 2015 talks.  But how do we get there?

Firstly, I got cross-Government agreement on an ambitious UK position. We have pushed for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the EU by 2030. We want this increased to 50% if the rest …

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Ed Davey MP writes: Energy Act will create 200,000 green jobs

We will have to get used to calling it an Act, as the Energy Bill that I’ve been driving through Parliament is now law.

Creating the world’s first ever low carbon electricity market is a major achievement for the Liberal Democrats and the Coalition.  And it has been delivered on time.

So, what will the Energy Act deliver?

It will create 200,000 green jobs.

The framework we’ve now put in place will create 250,000 jobs in the energy sector by 2020 – and 200,000 of them in renewables.  The investment that we’re unlocking will produce green jobs up and down the country in offshore …

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Clegg and Farron champion green issues after Cameron appears to backtrack

Of course he hasn’t said this publicly, but the Telegraph reports that David Cameron has stated privately that he wants to “get rid of all the green crap” from Coalition policies.

Nick Clegg and Tim Farron are both quoted as robustly defending green measures and the jobs they create. Nick says that he doesn’t think the headlines portray David Cameron’s views.

On Call Clegg, Nick said:

Well, if I may use the word, it isn’t all crap, of course. It is worth remembering that a lot of the policies that we’ve got support tens of thousands of people who work in a

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Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: Tell me why you’re green

This week, Nick’s letter is about his speech to the Green Alliance. It summarises what he said, but doesn’ t link to it. Just as well we put it in full here, then. The aim is to drive people to shiny new “Why I am Green” Nationbuilder site. 1329 people have already given their reasons. He’s losing no opportunity to explain why Ed Miliband’s energy price freeze just doesn’t cut it. He’s modified the language a bit, putting in a bit more detail, but is still describing it as the con that it is.

libdem letter from nick clegg

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In full: Nick Clegg’s speech to the Green Alliance

Nick Clegg made an important speech to the Green Alliance this morning, making the case that what seemed like a cross-party consensus on the issue of climate change has now crumbled, leaving the Liberal Democrats as the only major party still committed to preventing the catastrophic warming of the planet:

Labour have undermined what was their one and only green pledge – a decarbonisation target – with a policy that would damage the very industry needed to deliver it. They’re abandoning the environment to score a few populist points. It’s utterly Janus-faced.

Senior members of the Conservative party now openly attack environmental policies as anti-growth, as well as publically question the threat of climate change.

And yet all of us sat to hear Sir Mark Walport, the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, when he came last month and explained to the Government that the recent IPCC report – which made clear the threats posed by man-made climate change – was the most exhaustive, authoritative, peer reviewed report on climate change ever published. How much more hard science is needed to convince the climate change deniers they’ve got it wrong?

The speech also touched on some other, less well-publicised, areas within environmental policy:

In our natural environment, we’ve introduced a presumption in favour of sustainable development, and maintained strong protections for the Green Belt and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Something many of the people in this room were involved in.

We’re on track to plant a million more trees by the end of the parliament – the majority in the most deprived and least green areas.

After a comprehensive review, we plan to launch a new National Pollinator strategy next spring to protect the country’s bees and many other pollinating insects.

We’re reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill and we’re investing in cleaning up England’s rivers, lakes and waterways.

We’ve promoted animal welfare, including ending the practice of keeping laying hens in tiny battery cages and, for the first time, implementing welfare standards for game-birds. We are also strongly committed to working with our international partners to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, and in a few months we’ll be hosting a major international conference in London to agree the action that is needed.

We’re seeing encouraging progress on biodiversity – this year’s biodiversity assessment report shows, for example, more land and sea protected and fish stocks better managed.

We have also now implemented the Marine and Coastal Access Act, which seeks to improve the management and protection of our marine environment and increase public access to our coastal paths: so more people can access the beauty of Britain’s landscape, and we’re going to be saying more about marine conservation shortly.

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Ed Davey forms European green alliance to help Cameron win global race

You might not think that the Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey was key to Prime Minister’s David Cameron’s plans to “win the global race”, but you’d be wrong.

Davey is a key proponent of the need to work with allies in Europe to drive through EU reforms that benefit Britain in the world, something we feel strongly about at British Influence.

While a Minister at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, he set up the Like-minded Group of EU ministers, to drive economic growth in the EU and cut back on

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The Climate Parliament: The scientific debate is over – the ball is now in our court

Uttarakhand FloodsThe scientific debate is over.

That’s the message from a network of MPs called the Climate Parliament.

Now it’s down to politicians and policy makers to ensure we avoid a global catastrophe.

The Parliament believes that today’s International Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report is the most comprehensive, detailed account of current climate science. Despite much press scepticism, scientists overwhelmingly agree:

Climate change is real, and it’s already happening.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 48 Comments

It’s global warming, stupid – and it’s gonna be cold

BookerMost of the attention before and after Ed Miliband’s speech has been on energy prices. That’s no surprise. Soaring energy prices hit everyone, but most of all the poor.

Today Nick Clegg has spoken out against Ed Miliband’s energy price freeze. The energy companies meanwhile are floating a four year fixed price deal to lock in their profits in the event of Ed managing to grab the country’s helm.

But the most important contribution to the energy debate is by Tim Farron. In today’s Guardian, he says:

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The Independent View: Conference 2013: Lib Dems must stand up for the environment

For a fleeting moment in May 2010 there was genuine optimism that the environment might be put at the heart of Britain’s political agenda.

With a coalition of Liberal Democrats, praised by many, including Friends of the Earth, for their manifesto’s prioritisation of environmental issues, joining forces with a ‘vote blue, go green’ Tory party, fresh from championing the Climate Change Act, it looked as if yellow and blue really could produce green.

But three and a half years later Cameron’s pledge to lead the “greenest Government ever” now seems little more than a cynical sound bite.

Perhaps less expected is the …

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Opinion: Fracking cannot be at the expense of Climate Change targets

Next Sunday, conference will debate the Green Growth and Green Jobs motion (F10). This wide ranging motion includes, among other things, lines on fracking (56-58) which state:

Permitting limited shale gas extraction, ensuring that regulations controlling pollution and protecting local environmental quality are strictly enforced, planning decisions remain with local authorities and local communities are fully consulted over extraction and fully compensated for all damage to the local landscape

Like many of you I am skeptical about fracking for a number of reasons but primarily because I am absolutely committed to tackling Climate Change, and the lines in the motion do …

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Ed Davey MP writes… Keeping the lights on with greener energy

Hopefully by the time you’ve read this you’ll be aware of the details I announced this morning to secure the future of energy supply for the UK – if not, and excuse the pun –  let me enlighten you.

As you know already, we have a plan in the form of the Energy Bill that is progressing well through Parliament.  The plan essentially addresses a major issue – we need to attract £110 billion of private sector investment to replace the supply we lose as a result of 20% of our power stations closing by the end of this

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Ed Davey MP writes…Green jobs, cleaner energy, keeping the lights on and bills down

The Energy Bill returns to the House of Commons tomorrow. It’s a crucial Bill that will help deliver all of the above, but clearly one issue – the 2030 decarbonisation target for the power sector – has been the focus of much attention over the last few months. Let’s be clear, such a target wasn’t mentioned in any party’s manifesto or the Coalition Agreement, or in the draft Bill when I became Secretary of State. But because we won the argument in Government, and the Bill now provides for a target, Britain will be the first country in the world …

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Andrew George MP writes…Liberal Democrats must defend green promise

It’s crunch time for parties across the political spectrum: will parliamentarians do the right thing for our climate and the UK economy or will they let the sceptics drive investors overseas?

The Energy Bill returns to the Commons next week, just as the Conservatives are retreating to their traditional political stomping grounds in the face of competition from the right. Writing in Lib Dem Voice last month, Nick Clegg noted that: “Compassionate conservatism has been sidelined…the blue team used to claim to have gone green, yet have now publicly denounced the importance of environmental protections”. It’s up to the Liberal Democrats to …

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    Good to see the issue being highlighted. Even better to see a comment from Gareth Epps the only Lib Dem in Reading to genuinely want...
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    Alison's questions and tone were fine. Salmond largely batted them away by simply saying "we care about the NHS", so we need to find a...
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    Please gather as much support as possible -" the end of UK search and rescue in the Mediterranean is shameful.we must not allow such an...
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    Peter, I am sure people at the top know what to do, but nobody wants to be seen as doing it. Perhaps they will gain...
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    Tony dawson I am not 'on Labour's side' at all but am definitely more sympathetic than I am compare to the Tories The problem that...
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    The problem with the Lib Dems is that they keep falling for the idea that there is a centre right consensus. The telling factors are...