Tackling the Climate Emergency

Humanity is staring down the barrel of a gun. Unless urgent action is taken to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, the world will suffer the worst impacts of climate breakdown.

This breakdown includes an increase in storms and hurricanes, flooding from higher rainfall and rising sea levels, more frequent and more dangerous heat waves and droughts, longer and more damaging wildfires, the spread of insect-borne diseases, the destruction of habitats and the extinction of species, and major damage to agriculture, with consequent food shortages and rising prices. Climate breakdown will cause increasingly costly damage to social and economic well-being and to nature, a huge and permanent growth in the numbers of refugees fleeing their homes and the possible collapse of poor countries with weak governance most exposed to the impacts.

Liberal Democrat key priorities for tackling the climate emergency:

  • Set ambitious targets for reducing UK greenhouse gas emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 and to net zero by 2045 at the latest.

  • Carry out an emergency programme of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all UK buildings to near-zero by 2030, cutting fuel bills and ending fuel poverty.

  • Accelerate the development of renewable power, reaching at least 80 per cent of electricity generation by 2030 and more thereafter.

  • Encourage the rapid take-up of electric vehicles by ending the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and small vans by 2030.

  • Plant 60 million trees a year to remove carbon from the atmosphere, and improve health and the rural and urban environment.

  • Work closely with the UK’s European and global partners to raise global climate ambition.

  • Decarbonise finance and investment, requiring companies and financial institutions to implement climate targets.

  • Integrate climate objectives into the heart of national and local government, establish Citizens’ Climate Assemblies and set up a Just Transition Commission to ensure no one loses out.