Tag Archives: friends of the earth

For World Environment Day: The Lib Dems’ vision

Our digital people have been excelling themselves as usual this campaign.

On this World Environment Day, see below the video the party has put together outlining the problems and our vision for dealing with them.

The party would not have been happy to have come just behind Labour in the Friends of the Earth rating of manifestos. Tim Farron has today sent them

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The Independent View: Tim Farron’s election as leader provides hope that the party will embrace and enhance the green roots held dear by members and activists.

Congratulations to Tim Farron, an MP who has long championed environmental causes. His voting record, especially during the coalition years, was consistently green. In 2013 Farron was one of 16 Lib Dems to rebel and back a 2030 decarbonisation target. How different the energy politics landscape would look had more Lib Dem MPs (and later peers) joined him and ensured there was now a decarb target in the statute books to provide long term certainty for investors in the face of growing short term uncertainty.*

But that was then. With Tim Farron at the helm we look forward to the party adopting stronger green positions, such as Farron’s repeated pledge to oppose fracking. Most importantly – and in a move that puts clear water between him and Andy Burnham, the leading candidate for the Labour leadership – Farron’s opposition is on the grounds that burning shale gas is incompatible with tackling climate change:

Shale gas will only have a future in the UK if we abandon, or significantly scale back, our climate targets – and that’s something that I hope every Liberal Democrat would oppose

This is the sort of clear leadership sorely needed in the fight against climate change and the pressing need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Only the Greens and Plaid Cymru have made so clear the climate change rationale for opposing fracking (in addition to the more widely accepted risks to communities’ air, water and peace).

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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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The Independent View: Vince Cable should make sure all companies are bound by new transparency law

Consider this question – what is the difference between a T-shirt from Tesco and one from TopShop? Lib Dems will undoubtedly have their own style preferences.

But for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Minister Vince Cable there’s an important distinction. Cable is seeking to weaken proposed EU rules that would require companies to report annually on risks their operations pose to communities and the natural world, such as accidents, pollution and human rights. The new non-financial reporting directive could be a game-changer on a path towards more sustainable production.

It should ensure that a firm like Tesco, as a large …

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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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Lib Dem voters’ views on green energy

A poll commissioned by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth has revealed some useful data about the  attitudes of Liberal Democrat voters to green energy.

It found that more than half of those who voted Liberal Democrat in 2010 said they would be more likely to do so again if the Liberal Democrats took action on carbon-free electricity generation.

It asked:

The Government’s advisors, the Committee on Climate Change, have said that to meet our climate change commitments the UK must switch to almost entirely carbon-free electricity by 2030.

Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for the Liberal

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Independent View: Danny Alexander’s green line

Danny Alexander is right to recognise Liberal Democrats will not be forgiven for delivering George Osborne’s attacks on the environment. Alexander’s ‘Generating Growth and Jobs in a Time of Austerity’ conference motion is pretty bold and we hope it is an opening salvo in a serious re-adjustment in the Liberal Democrats’ environment agenda in Government.

Alexander’s intervention is needed. Osborne has seized the environment as an issue and is using it to play to the Tory right in an attempt to save his political skin. This has involved much tilting at wind turbines and charming his friends and relatives by proposing …

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The Independent View: Will Osborne gas the Lib Dems’ green credentials?

Ed Davey’s announced this week that he’d secured an important concession from the Chancellor over wind farm subsidies – but at what cost?

Although there was understandable relief over the certainty this move gave to investors in clean British energy it seems the victory may have come with a hefty price tag: an agreement to burden our electricity system with dirty and increasingly expensive gas for decades to come – despite the enormous damage this could cause to both the economy and planet.

Ed Davey’s success in securing a 10 per cent cut in wind farm subsidies – to reflect the …

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The Independent View: Energy Bill – time for Lib Dems to show their true colours

Our electricity system is broken – soaring fuel bills, an over-reliance on overseas fossil fuels and an urgent need to tackle climate change highlight the severe energy crisis the nation faces.

So the inclusion of an Energy Bill in this week’s Queen’s speech to overhaul the UK’s failing electricity market was long overdue.

The Bill is a once in a generation opportunity to secure our long-term opportunity to make our power system cleaner, more affordable and less reliant on increasingly imported fossil fuels.

Such a move would be popular, too. A recent YouGov poll Friends of the Earth published to mark the

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The Independent View: Nuclear subsidies – no thanks!

On Tuesday night in the House of Commons, the nuclear industry moved a significant step closer to getting their hands on an extra £1.3 billion of public money, courtesy of a coalition Government that promised no subsidy for nuclear power.

A Labour attempt to claw the money back through a windfall tax failed. And although this was supported by environmentally-minded Conservative MP, Zac Goldsmith, not a single Liberal Democrat MP gave their backing.

Admittedly there were notable abstentions. Sixteen Liberal Democrat MPs did not troop through the Government lobby to block the Labour proposal – including, intriguingly, Danny Alexander.

The issue …

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Eric Pickles wins Talking Rubbish prize

A few weeks ago, the Voice highlighted that three Tory ministers — Eric Pickles, Carloline Spelman and Bob Neill — were up for a very special gong: the Friends of the Earth Talking Rubbish Award to help debunk the myths peddled by right-wing newspapers and some Tory ministers who ‘like to trash recycling’.

Well, after 1,000 online votes were cast, there is now a winner: yes, that jolly, red-faced Communities secretary Mr Pickles is the victor for peddling the myth that recycling means everyone is terrified of the ‘bin police’. “The iron fist of the municipal state has come down on people for the most minor of bin breaches,” he spluttered.

Announcing Mr Pickles’ huge win, Friends of the Earth’s waste campaigner Julian Kirby commented:

“Government Ministers have been keen to trash recycling when in reality it’s more popular and successful than ever. Eric Pickles in particular has been at war with councils when he should be supporting them to cut the amount we needlessly throw away. David Cameron needs to take control of his hysterical, squabbling Ministers and set a goal to halve the nation’s black bag waste by 2020.”

You can find out more about the Friends’ Talking half as much rubbish campaign here.

In the meantime, to celebrate his award let’s take the opportunity once again to re-live one of Mr Pickles’ best-loved TV appearances:

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Nick Clegg writes to Friends of the Earth…

Over on the Friends of the Earth site they’ve published Nick Clegg’s response to their 2010 election lobbying campaign:

This election could be a turning point, not just for Britain but for the world environment. Some people think that’s overstating it, but the scientists tell us that the coming five years could be our last chance to avert dangerous climate change. That means the government we elect next has the most enormous responsibility: to provide change at home and leadership abroad to stop the disaster from happening.

I am a huge supporter of Friends of the Earth. I’ve met up with FoE

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 28th May - 12:42am
    Peter Martin, I think Jimmy Stewart's scriptwriter was probably quite prescient. Money circulates in a country as long as there is trust that it will...
  • User Avatarsuzanne fletcher 27th May - 9:28pm
    I've been listening since Adam was born, I was in hospital having Alex at the time. I rather like the lulling monologues, don't like exciting...
  • User AvatarSeethingWells Action 27th May - 9:15pm
    Thanks Liz. It’s an important site and thanks for publicising this vital cause. Lib Dem Voice readers can find out more of the history and...
  • User AvatarPeter 27th May - 9:09pm
    Forgive my ignorance, what is pansexual, if not bisexual?
  • User AvatarMohammed Amin 27th May - 8:56pm
    I am afraid that this is a type of "magical thinking" that is often seen. All tax is tax, and all taxes are eventually borne...
  • User AvatarGary J 27th May - 8:55pm
    I found Layla Moran's self-description as "pansexual" both amusing and pretentious. In general politicians talk too much about their private lives. If she felt the...