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First established as the Liberal Ecology Group in 1977, the Green Liberal Democrats functions as an environmental Think Tank for the Party; puts on fringe meetings; an annual conference; and produces resources for campaign action. About.

Join Us


Join the Green Liberal Democrats at our Summer School & Conference

In Nottingham and Online - 11th June 2022

Order your ticket here!

Here's what you'll access with your ticket:

  • 'Green Debut' training sessions.
  • Keynote speeches.
  • Panel discussions.
  • Special Interest Groups.
  • Campaign planning.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • A vegan lunch!

Join our Facebook Page and Members Group, our Twitter, and subscribe for Daily Updates

Become an Accredited Candidate.

Challenge 2021 front cover - Green Liberal Democrats magazine (Pete Roberts, Gorge Miles, Jason Billin)

Our Latest Articles:

  • TP Davey
    Article: May 10, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    We had a bumper election.

    From winning the new unitaries of Somerset and Westmorland & Furness, taking control of Kingston upon Hull, Woking, Gosport, to becoming the largest party in Powys - Lib Dems are #winninghere.

    So many of you won seats and councils from Conservatives, Labour, Greens, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, and independents throughout the UK.

    We worked hard for our wins, but now the real work begins.

    We get elected because we know how transformative it can be when Liberal Democrats represent their communities and the climate.

    That's why, on June 11th, the Green Liberal Democrat Summer School will feature training and panel discussions designed to promote environmental action on your council.

    We are facing the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. As 2022 Spring Conference Motion F34 - COP27 and Climate Empowerment for Local Government - accentuated:

    'As place-shapers, only local government holds the wide range of delivery powers and assets - and the potential for market and nonmarket mechanisms to finance action at scale - that are necessary to decarbonise housing, transport, waste and generate nature-based solutions.'

    Sir Ed Davey MP was correct, this election marks a 'turning point' for our party. We are a legitimate electoral force again.

    Our 223 new councillors and 5 new councils (so far!) represent the opportunity to ratchet up the pressure for real action around the UK.

    To find out what you can do to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss where you are, register as a delegate to the GLD Summer School and Conference within the next 48 hours to take advantage of our earlybird price of just £40.

    Attend GLD Summer School - A Turning Point

    New Member Deal!

    For those without GLD membership, we offer the 2022 ticket - where they can join GLD for £20 and get a discounted £22 ticket for the Conference, a total of £42.

    P.S: Earlybird tickets are only available until Wednesday 11th! Be sure to get in early and lock down the low price!
  • Windfall Header
    Article: May 3, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    This morning, BP reported a sizzling $6.2 billion (£5bn) of underlying profit.

    Despite efforts to disguise windfalls under an apparent loss from exiting interests in Russia, BP outperformed projections significantly, benefiting from surging utility prices.

    The oil and gas giant could have invested this windfall in green infrastructure, promoting energy security and reducing our carbon footprint. Instead, $2.5 billion has been committed to share buybacks over the next quarter, returning cash to shareholders and executives over improving our energy mix.

    BP's Chief Executive Bernard Looney has compared the organisation to a 'cash machine' with 'more cash than we know what to do with'. We have some suggestions. Liberal Democrats have called for a 'Robin Hood' windfall tax on energy giants to support households throughout the UK with spiking bills.

    A one-off levy would raise over £10bn over the next year, supporting families and households by allowing us to:

    • Double the Warm Homes Discount and extend it to all those receiving Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

    • Double the Winter Fuel Allowance.

    • Insulate homes to slash heating bills long-term.

    • Cut VAT to 17.5%, saving households £600 per year.

    Meanwhile, Boris Johnson sat on Good Morning Britain and told the public that a windfall tax on energy companies will 'discourage them from making the investments that we want to see.'

    With 7.5 million households set to enter fuel poverty, we cannot afford to ignore the problem, to stick our heads in the sand.

    Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak state that energy companies will figure it out for us.

    This morning, BP gave us $2.5 billion of evidence to the contrary.

    Sir Ed Davey MP spoke on BBC Breakfast, reiterating calls for an urgent windfall tax.

    Watch his statement here:

    Ed Davey BBC Breakfast Windfall Tax 03/05/2022

    The Campaign:

    We've collated a pack of urgent resources in our Windfall Tax campaign for you to respond to today's news:

    P.S: In March, Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng MP appointed the Chair of BP Europe Peter Mather to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) executive board.

  • Wera Header
    Article: May 2, 2022
    By Wera Hobhouse

    As you may know, I started in local government. As a Councillor in Rochdale, I was proud of our efforts to make our council greener, cleaner and healthier.

    Every week I meet with Councillors, Group Leaders and Council Leaders from across the country and I am heartened to hear about the brilliant work being done by so many of our colleagues throughout the UK.

    Liberal Democrat-run Local Authorities are on the frontline of tackling the climate emergency and our Councillors have a strong record:

    • Cllr Sarah Dyke and South Somerset District Council have developed 70 megawatts of battery storage for renewable energy.

    • Cllr Christian Vassie's work on York City Council has pushed the North Yorkshire Pension Fund to invest £140 million in a Climate Opportunities Fund.

    • Mayor Dave Hodgson and Bedford Borough Council have reduced carbon emissions across their Council properties by 62% since 2009.

    I want to see more of you doing great things. But first, we have to get elected.

    It takes a lot of work to get onto the Council. The national crises of the Conservative Party and mismanagement of Labour Councils make this a great opportunity. But, we need people like you and I to deliver leaflets, knock on doors, and help in any way that you can.

    Liberal Democrats become Councillors not because we hope to benefit from it, but because we truly care about how our Council is run.

    That's why I loved being a Councillor and it's why I am out on the doorstep helping our candidates get over the line.

    In the final week, we can push forward. And by Friday morning we will welcome a new group of Liberal Democrat councillors.

    Let's get out there.

    Best of luck,

    Wera

    Wera Hobhouse MP
    Member of Parliament for Bath
    Green Liberal Democrats Vice President
    wera.hobhouse@greenlibdems.org.uk

    Donate here
  • Parminter Header
    Article: Apr 28, 2022
    By Kate Parminter

    I just wanted to write a quick post to thank you for all the work that you've been doing in the runup to next Thursday, and take a moment to wish you all the best of luck.

    Every year, I'm amazed by the efforts put in by our activists, and Green Liberal Democrats throughout the country have been acting with the urgency that our party - and planet - requires.

    I count it a privilege to do all I can in the Lords to fight for positive action on the environment. Our team hold the Government to account and advocate for a fair deal from Westminster.

    But we cannot do this alone.

    Throughout the country, our campaigners and councillors are doing the work to make sure that we fight the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity on a local level. I don't need to tell you the effect that Liberal Democrats can have in their Local Authorities, driving positive environmental action for our communities.

    But they can't get there without your help.

    That's why I'm writing not only to thank you, but to urge you to keep working hard. It's amazing what we can make happen in only 7 days, so do what you can, and let's win some more seats!

    Best wishes,

    Kate Parminter (Baroness Parminter)

    @kateparminter
    kate.parminter@greenlibdems.org.uk

    P.S: I use this map to find where elections are being held in various areas. I hope you find it helpful!

    Donate here

  • TP Header
    Article: Apr 27, 2022
    By Keith Melton

    It may be difficult to imagine planning beyond next Thursday, 5th May, at this moment.

    Polling day is on the horizon and based on the feedback we are getting from across the board, we may be looking to have some remarkable successes for our party this year.

    This kind of result has the potential to be great for our planet.

    That's why, this summer, our Green Liberal Democrats Summer School and Conference is indispensable. If we hit the ground running, this can be "A Turning Point" in our fight against climate change and biodiversity loss.

    Tickets to "A Turning Point" at Nottingham University on Saturday, June 11th - are available now:

    Get Early Bird Tickets Now!

    Keep your eyes peeled for the full agenda. Here's a slice of what to expect:

    • 'Green Debut' training sessions for councillors and candidates.
    • Panel discussions with our MPs, colleagues, and partner organisations.
    • Special Interest Group sessions to produce policy motions.
    • Strategy roundtables to plan campaigning and messaging.
    • Vegan lunch for all!
    We're working hard to make sure that we carry the dynamic of these Local Elections into practical environmental activism, so join us in Nottingham this summer!

    You need to book your early bird tickets before the 11th May.

    Best of luck next week. If you don't have elections in your area and would like to help our GLD Accredited Candidates in target wards, volunteer here.

    Warm regards,

    Keith Melton

    Chair, 2022
    chair@greenlibdems.org.uk

    P.S: Early bird tickets are available only until the 11th May. Make sure you get in early!
    Book here
  • BH Header
    Article: Apr 18, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    Energy bills are spiking. 7.5 million households are set to enter fuel poverty. We are all feeling the squeeze.

    On the first of April 2022, the energy price cap rose by 54%, burdening 22 million customers with increased bills. Those on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see an increase of £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 per year, whilst prepayment customers are experiencing an increase of £708, from £1,309 to £2,017.

    It's our job as Liberal Democrats to advocate for these people.

    Whilst we have presented a full plan for reducing the cost of living, home insulation has increased in relevance in light of the campaigning efforts of groups like Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain.

    A fabric first approach to reducing costs by investing in better homes could transform the experience of opening utility bills at the end of the month.

    This briefing and campaign pack will outline how we can promote our plan for better homes and lower bills.

    The Problem:

    Well insulated homes save £671 in energy bills per year. Not to mention the human cost.

    In the winter of 2018-19, 17,000 lives were lost due to cold housing conditions, the highest since 1976. A greater quantity than the cumulative deaths from breast and brain cancers in the same period.

    The UK has the second worst cold weather mortality rate of 30 European countries, and when balanced for wealth, rank amongst the worst in the world.

    In turn, energy usage in our homes accounts for 14% of UK emissions. To tackle the climate emergency, we know that we must urgently reduce our carbon footprint. The phrase 'activism starts at home' could not be more true. It shouldn't cost the earth to live in a healthy, comfortable dwelling.

    But instead of helping households to reduce their costs, tackling the health crisis of draughty homes, and reducing our carbon emissions, the Government slashed regulations for developers, costing those in new homes £361 million extra every year.

    The price of inaction is too high for our communities and climate.

    The Solution:

    In the Spring of 2021, the Liberal Democrats proposed that the Windfall from auctions of offshore wind farm rights should be used to invest in a Sovereign Green Wealth Fund. This would finance an emergency ten-year programme to insulate every home.

    Sir Ed Davey MP called for 'Lower heating bills for everyone - and an end to fuel poverty. Warmer homes for everyone - and green jobs in every village, town and city across the UK.'

    E3G analysis found that for every £1 of government money invested in retrofit, £3.20 comes back into the economy by way of increased GDP. This is an opportunity we cannot afford to waste.

    This reiterates pledges made in our 2019 manifesto, which you can read here.

    Our plan calls on the government to:

    • Invest in grants to upgrade insulation in all existing homes, creating over 500,000 skilled green jobs.

    • Require all new homes to be eco-friendly, tackling developers who cut corners with higher standards and regular inspections.

    • Increase minimum efficiency standards for privately rented properties and remove the cost cap on improvements, so tenants aren't trapped in cold homes.

    • Empower councils to develop community energy-saving projects, including delivering housing energy efficiency improvements street by street.

    • Grade Stamp Duty Land Tax by the energy rating of the property.

    The Campaign:

    We've produced a pack of essential resources for campaigning on improving our homes:

    P.S: It may be too late to select a campaign for the runup to May, but we are Liberal Democrats. We campaign all year round!

    Donate to support our efforts
  • Article: Apr 12, 2022
    By Jules Ewart

    When launching our training last week, a few eagle-eyed members asked for more details about our Green Liberal Democrat Summer Conference.

    The Turning Point in June 2022 will feature:

    • A panel discussion and keynote speech from our Vice President, Wera Hobhouse MP

    • Extensive campaign and governance training

    • Meetings of our Special Interest Groups

    • Sessions from partner organisations

    • And plenty of social opportunities!

    More details will follow, but save the date - the 11th June, at Nottingham Conferences, NG7 2RJ.

    You can add the event to your calendar here:

    Apple Google Office 365 Outlook Outlook.com Yahoo

    I look forward to seeing you there!

    Best wishes,

    Jules Ewart

    Vice Chair Organisation, 2022
    vice-chair.organisation@greenlibdems.org.uk

  • Article: Apr 11, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    The improvement in air quality that we saw during lockdowns brought the issue, an early target of environmentalism, to the fore of public attention. The moment provided us with insight into what might be possible for future air quality in our communities.

    Given the significant threat to health and well-being that poor air quality represents, raising awareness of the transformative impact that local initiatives can have is a vital campaign point.

    YouGov polling found that across six European countries, two thirds said they did not want to go back to pre-Covid pollution levels. Roughly the same proportion (68%) agreed that cities and towns must take effective measures to protect citizens from air pollution, even if it means preventing polluting cars from entering city centres to protect clean air, with as many as 63% of drivers themselves in support.

    Around three quarters (74%) of respondents believed that cities must take effective measures to protect citizens from air pollution, with just 10% opposed.

    We have an opportunity, as we look forward, to improve the health of people and the planet.

    The Problem:

    Air Pollution is the most significant environmental threat to health in the UK, responsible for 36,000 early deaths every year. It causes the development of heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and lung cancer.

    Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is the primary cause of damage, with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) also responsible.

    Children are at greater risk from air pollution, with those living in polluted areas more likely to have reduced lung growth. Maternal exposure to polluted air can result in premature and low birth-weight babies.

    A quarter of UK children attend schools with air pollution above the World Health Organisation limit, placing 3.4 million young people at increased risk of asthma, obesity, and cognitive impairments.

    Schools should be safe places. They should not threaten the health of our children.

    However, the United Kingdom's national limits for nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter are set at four times the level of the World Health Organisation guidelines, and the principal source of these are traffic emissions, with wood-burning stoves also being a major contributing factor in some areas.

    Following the tragic death of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, air pollution was listed as a cause of death for the first time in December of 2020. In a report to prevent future deaths, the coroner recommended a reduction in national limits of particulate matter.

    The Solution:

    At Liberal Democrats 2022 Spring Conference, the Party passed motion F9: Action to Improve Air Quality, proposed by Cllr Hina Bokhari AM and Summated by Cllr Jon Ball.

    The Motion calls on local authorities to:

    1. Install more pollution sensors near major roads and at every urban school.

    2. Publicise local air quality issues including publishing live pollution levels from their pollution sensors stating specific levels of pollutants using globally recognised units of measurement.

    3. Work to improve air quality in their area.

    4. Take into account likely differential air pollution changes in different roads when designing traffic schemes.

    5. Consider implementing or extending Clean Air Zones, in consultation with residents and local businesses to ensure that such zones reduce net pollution and don't merely displace activity

    6. Promote schemes to allow the rapid and affordable replacement of petrol and diesel vehicles by lower polluting vehicles by local businesses in conjunction with the introduction of Clean Air zones.

    7. Establish No-Idling Zones outside schools.

    Conference also called for the Government to:

    1. Urgently bring forward statutory instruments under the Environment Act 2021 to introduce legally binding national limits for particulate matter and other pollutants at or below current WHO guidelines.

    2. Introduce a fully-funded obligation for all local authorities to install and maintain pollution sensors in their areas.

    3. Introduce a scrappage scheme targeted at the most polluting older vehicles, in particular old diesel vehicles, and at vehicles used by local businesses in proposed Clean Air Zones.

    4. Introduce targeted funding to provide financial support for the operators of buses, taxis and private hire vehicles to switch to less polluting technologies.

    5. Increase the Air Quality Grant Programme which provides funding to local authorities to tackle locally identified air pollution issues.

    6. Encourage local authorities to run public education style programmes and allow them to follow these with an increased maximum penalty that they can apply to drivers leaving their engines idling, with the local authorities retaining 100% of the money raised.

    7. Fund local authorities to introduce more electric charging points in Clean Air Zones, allowing supply to keep ahead of demand.

    Read the full motion here

    The Campaign:

    We've produced a pack of essential resources for campaigning on improving air quality:

    P.S: We don't have long now until Polling Day, but we are doing everything we can to support campaigners like you to deliver for your communities.

    Donate to support our efforts
  • Local Electricity Briefing
    Article: Apr 4, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    We've teamed up with Power for People to support local campaigners to advocate for the essential Local Electricity Bill.

    We must urgently decarbonise our power grid and reduce the influence of unstable overseas fossil fuel prices. Community-scale renewables are a great solution; providing green, clean energy that stimulates local economies.

    Spiking energy prices have highlighted our dependence on imported oil and gas, enabling petrostate autocrats to act with few consequences.

    Energy independence is essential and can only be achieved at the pace we require through a combination of large-scale infrastructure investment and local developments.

    But unfair regulations and disproportionate costs are stifling opportunity.

    The Problem:

    If you want to buy your electricity from local renewable sources such as the nearby school that has solar panels on its roof, you cannot. We all buy our electricity from a utility company that sources it from anything connected to the National Grid, be it a field of solar panels in Flintshire or a coal fired power station in Yorkshire.

    There is so much potential for energy to be generated, bought, and sold locally - but the supply costs and red tape involved make it almost impossible to do so.

    In 2014, a report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change whilst Ed Davey MP was Secretary of State found that community energy had the potential to produce over 3,000 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity by 2020.

    However, the Environmental Audit Committee reported in 2020 that only 278MW of capacity was being produced by the community energy sector, less than 10% of that projected.

    Imagine someone setting up a local bakery, planning to deliver their bread to local businesses, and then being told that they have to pay £1 million in road tax for their delivery van.

    This is the reality for local renewable energy production.

    The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found that the financial, technical, and operational challenges involved in setting up a licensed energy supply company mean that initial costs exceed £1 million. The market structure is rigged against them.

    The Solution:

    As a result of its 2021 Technological Innovations and Climate Change inquiry, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee recommended that a 'Right to Local Supply' be established.

    The Local Electricity Bill, written and advocated for by Power for People, would establish this Right to Local Supply and make the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers affordable and proportionate to the size of the supply company.

    So far, the Bill has been supported by 300 cross-party MPs and the Liberal Democrats, but will not become law without sustained and organised campaigning.

    You can read the full bill here.

    The Campaign:

    We've produced three essential resources for campaigning on the Local Electricity Bill:

    P.S: We have plenty more briefings coming down the road for campaigners and candidates just like yourself! Be sure to share this with fellow activists and encourage them to join us for more of the same!

  • Article: Apr 1, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    This year, we're donating bundles of 1,000 petitions to our Accredited Candidates across the length and breadth of the UK. These petitions allow us to present solutions to the issues that matter to so many - sewage, clean air, energy bills - and let them know that we hear their frustrations.

    Your generous membership dues and donations have allowed us to do so much already, but in 2022 we are campaigning at an unprecedented scale to support marginal and target wards.

    That is why we're launching the LEAF - the Local Environment Action Fund - designed to support campaigning Liberal Democrats who have committed to delivering greener, cleaner, healthier communities.

    We'd love if you could chip in to support our efforts:

    Our Accredited Candidates

    Our Candidates are selected by a Panel following a process in which they outline how they plan to improve their local environment by tackling climate change, biodiversity loss, and improving community spaces.

    Sanne Dijkstra-Downie is standing in Forth Ward for the City of Edinburgh Council.

    Sanne is the Scottish Liberal Democrats Net Zero Spokesperson. In her day job, she works as a fundraiser for climate research and teaching at the University of Edinburgh, where she helped to set up an Ocean Leadership programme.

    She is passionate about environmental issues and low-carbon travel, is an early adopter of the electric car and once travelled to Bordeaux and back in 30 charging stops!

    A Greener Forth Ward:

    Sanne pledges to work with local organisations and council officers to drive installation of electric vehicle charging points, allowing more residents to make the needed switch to zero emissions vehicles.

    A Cleaner Forth Ward:

    Sanne pledges to continue working with Wardie Bay Beachwatch, residents, and wild swimmer groups to call for water testing in Wardie Bay, to evidence water quality (and work towards improvements) for the benefit of people and marine wildlife.

    A Healthier Forth Ward:

    Sanne calls for better and safer active travel routes for all. Cycle routes throughout Edinburgh are limited and feel unsafe to many, especially after dark. These routes can be improved through better lighting, keeping vegetation in check, and dedicated infrastructure.

    To join Sanne and bid for 1,000 free leaflets courtesy of the LEAF, apply here


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Keith Melton is the 2020 Chair of GLD -
see his Vision