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Green Liberal Democrats - Party Leadership Election Environmental Q&A 11) Green Votes

June 26, 2015 12:30 PM
By Tim Farron and Norman Lamb

The Green Liberal Democrats have sent the two leadership candidates a series of questions, to inform party members, through their responses, about their green credentials.

In the run up to our annual conference in Manchester on June 27th, we will be publishing their answers, one question at a time.

Q11. How can we make generational justice, with care for the environment and its relationship to quality of life, a key plank of our campaigning, when the people we are protecting are not yet born? What long term policies to achieve this should we be promoting now and how can they be made into vote winners?

Norman Lamb Norman Lamb

Tim FarronTim Farron

As Liberals we must accept that with freedom comes responsibility. And we have a responsibility to be good stewards of our planet and a responsibility to future generations. I think, through our campaigning, we can inspire people to take our responsibilities seriously. That requires us to be clear and stark about the consequences of not acting.

Not all voters only think about themselves: anyone who's a parent or grandparent, or an aunt or uncle, is likely to care about the future for their children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces. So our policies for reducing carbon emissions, cutting waste and improving the use of natural resources, and protecting nature are all well placed to appeal to them. But as well as that I think the party has missed a trick in not making more strongly the case that investment in low-carbon and resource-efficient industries is good for Britain's economy, not just in the future but right now - these are the products and technologies that will be increasingly demanded in world markets, and these industries will therefore help to generate jobs and prosperity. That was the main message of the Green Manifesto (written by the authors of The Green Book) I helped to launch last year, and some of it was in the party's election manifesto but we need to have a much stronger voice on this. It's a way of showing how environmental policy is good for the economy.