Why the Liberal Democrats must be at the forefront of a UK Green New Deal

Since it was first introduced in the US in 2007, the idea of a Green New Deal has received substantial support amongst a wide range of the electorate worldwide, who are increasingly rallying their governments to tackle the imminent threat of climate change.

Recently gaining traction after the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to US Congress, the growing need to put a Green New Deal into practice is once again making its way to the forefront of global politics. Who will speak up for a deal like this in the UK?

A recent European Commission report revealed that the UK currently leads the way in fossil fuel subsidies, providing a staggering £10.5 billion to support the industry. The continuous commitment to propping up such environmentally harmful practices against the will of a large percentage of the UK populace is not only damaging to our mutual trust, but the future of our world.

The current state of British politics is at a critical point. At a time of great political upheaval across the nation, the Liberal Democrats have a chance to take centre-stage in refocusing the national agenda and rebuilding national trust in our party. 

A UK Green New Deal is a way in which we do exactly that. A progressive, positive agenda which underlines the importance of protecting our nation’s economic interests as well as our environmental prospects. By wielding much more focus towards supporting renewable and cleaner energies and protecting our natural earth, we can also thousands of new jobs and lessen inequality in a fresh, booming new industrial sector. 

Not only is a move towards such a deal a signal of intent of how the Liberal Democrats intend to develop future policy in the face of a changing world, but it signifies to our nation that, in a time of great political upheaval – we remain a party committed to equality, committed to the development of our economy and committed to a better future for the United Kingdom and the world at large. 

* Daniel Willis is a Liberal Democrat candidate for the Round Green ward (Luton South) for the 2019 local election. Candidate page - https://www.facebook.com/danlibdem/

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13 Comments

  • David Becket 5th Feb '19 - 12:05pm

    Yes, and there are a number of areas where we could be offering new “radical” solutions to today’s problems, but the leaders of the party do not appear to be up to the task.

  • Richard Underhill 5th Feb '19 - 12:31pm

    Leaving the EU would weaken our influence. Brown coal in the former GDR, dependence on coal in Poland, are not issues easily dealt with. More electrical interconnectors would help, not just from EU member states. North Africa perhaps?

  • David Evans 5th Feb '19 - 4:21pm

    Jenny,

    Perhaps you wouldn’t say something that trite if your lights went out or more significantly if someone you know had their dialysis machine lose power. Or looking at your specific examples – your central heating pump didn’t work, the cement works computer control system failed, or the steelworks, or the petrol pump, or the diesel pump or the kero pump.

  • Richard Underhill 5th Feb '19 - 5:21pm

    David Evans 5th Feb ’19 – 4:21pm: Or have your own personal or family power station? based on diffused sunlight, so popular that the government is withdrawing financial support.

  • David Evans 5th Feb '19 - 7:33pm

    Jenny, Indeed the first three sentences of your post were about ELECTRICITY supply, not ENERGY supply as you put it. The remainder were a rather demeaning comment emphasising the *small* matter of gas etc (totally unnecessary to make your point, unless you wanted to rub someones nose in it, and culminated in your ultimate put down “Not so significant after all.”

    As I said on previous occasions it is considered essential in political debate to undermine your opponent and put him/her down, but on LDV too often it seems to be most important to put people down who are fellow Lib Dems.

    Manners do matter if we want to be a team, and even more so if we want to be a winning team once again.

  • Whenever you read a statement like “this new power station will supply electricity to the equivalent of 100,000 homes” ask yourself “but can the people in those homes afford that electricity?”

  • Simon mcgrath 5th Feb '19 - 10:44pm

    Most of our “ fossil fuel subsidies “ are because we only charge 5% vat in domestic power. Are you really proposing to increase to 20% ?

  • We must not forget energy efficiency and savings technology.
    http://www.sussex.ac.uk/broadcast/read/41376

  • @Simon – I think the question we need to ask is what is a subsidy?

    It is clear from the linked Guardian article, that the EU Commission regards the UK 5% vat rate on domestic gas and electricity from all sources, a fossil fuels subsidy. This is because it (VAT) isn’t being charged at the standard 20% rate. I’ve not read the report, but I would expect following the EU’s reasoning that the 5% VAT rate would also appear as a renewables subsidy.

    Increasing the VAT rate to 20% would reduce the monetary value of the ‘subsidies’, however, given the way chosen to graphically present the relative fuel subsidies in the Guardian article, I doubt this would significantly alter the graph. To do that would require a significant change in the UK energy mix and thus the proportion of the domestic fuel cost that can be attributed to fossil fuels. An alternative would be to try and charge different VAT rates for energy from different sources…

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