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GLD NEWS Page

See our twitter at: https://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=GreenLibdems

And see our Links page for other news sources

See also News from the Liberal Democrats


Green Liberal Democrats: Recent News Articles

  • Francis Header Leaving
    Article: Jul 4, 2022
    By Francis Thomas

    Last Friday concluded my final week at the Green Lib Dems. This role has been a brilliant one, and I'm excited to share the opportunity with a new Intern.

    Dear Francis,

    I first wanted to thank you.

    My time at the Green Liberal Democrats has been an great experience. In large part due to those of you that have engaged with our work.

    You've taken advantage of our resources and materials, collaborated with us to develop policies and campaigns, and worked hard to get Liberal Democrats elected.


    Your support - and often patience - has made this job what I consider to be amongst the most fulfilling in the party. My special thanks go to our Officers and Executive, who set a strong direction and were always on hand to offer guidance.

    In order to continue this momentum, the Green Liberal Democrats are recruiting for their next Intern.

    Based in the fantastic ALDC Salford HQ, the Intern will be responsible for:

    • Drafting GLD's communications presence: emails, newsletters, topical briefings, blog articles.
    • Producing resources for campaigners: leaflet and digital materials, press releases, council motions, policy guidance.
    • Delivering research support for Liberal Democrat Parliamentarians across both houses, providing our MPs and Peers access to a wider network of environmental organisations.
    If you know somebody who would be suited to this role, let them know to send their CV and cover letter to ALDC's Head of Operations, Ed Stephenson at ed.stephenson@aldc.org and to Keith Melton, chair@greenlibdems.org.uk.
    Read the full job description here
    The closing date for applications is Sunday the 17th of July, whilst interviews will be conducted over Zoom on the 20th.

    I cannot overstate just how engaging my time has been here. For Liberal Democrats looking for a creative, political job, you can't do much better than this.

    Best,

    Francis Thomas

    Political Assistant
    francis.thomas@greenlibdems.org.uk

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  • Final Note Header
    Article: Jun 9, 2022
    By Keith Melton

    The world we know is in serious trouble and needs our help.

    We are at A Turning Point.

    Green Liberal Democrats take the view that we need to tackle all the problems we face with a sense of vigour. But also with a different, more holistic approach than politicians will usually take.

    Just look at some of the most significant threats we face:

    • Putin's war of aggression on Ukraine
    • Crushing cost of living increases
    • Deepening concerns about Climate Change
    • The speed with which tipping points are likely to be breached
    • Devastating biodiversity loss
    • Air and water quality
    • Waste management and the problems of plastics
    • 'Forever chemicals' polluting our environment
    There are many linkages between these, making it difficult to resolve one without another.

    We seek, as environmentally concerned politicians, to find ways of allowing and encouraging people and communities to thrive.

    We need to set ourselves some targets to communicate how we propose to tackle these problems.

    And that is what provides the framework for our Summer School and Conference this coming weekend.

  • Save the Date Header
    Article: Jun 1, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    Next Saturday, 11th June, the Green Liberal Democrats are running our 2022 Summer School & Conference!

    Come along for the day in Nottingham! Or - join us online!

    Here's what you'll be missing if you don't save the date:

    • 'Green Debut' training sessions for new and experienced councillors
    • Keynote speeches from our MPs.
    • Panel discussions on topics ranging from windfall taxes to 'no-mow' policies.
    • Special Interest Groups to draft conference motions.
    • Campaign planning.
    • Networking opportunities.
    • A vegan lunch!
  • 20:22 deal
    Article: May 30, 2022
    By Keith Melton

    Get your colleagues to sign up for the 20:22 Deal!

    You're fortunate to be a Green Liberal Democrat. It gives you exclusive access to our resources, campaign packs, message briefings, and Special Interest Groups.

    It also gets you the member's rate to A Turning Point, our Summer School and Conference.

    However, we don't want to limit the opportunity to those of us who are already in the fold.

    That's why we're offering the 20:22 deal - a conference ticket and membership bundle - one year of £20 GLD membership and £22 entry to our Nottingham Summer School.

    Share this email now!

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

    • 'Green Debut' training sessions.
    • Keynote speeches.
    • Panel discussions.
    • Special Interest Groups.
    • Campaign planning.
    • Networking opportunities.
    • A vegan lunch!
    Get the 20:22 deal!

    Warm regards,


    Keith Melton

    Chair, 2022
    chair@greenlibdems.org.uk

    P.S: That's only £22 for access to our Nottingham Summer School!
    Book here
  • ALDC Conf
    Article: May 27, 2022
    By ALDC

    The Green Liberal Democrats Summer School & Conference - A Turning Point is now a hybrid event!

    In light of those unable to join us in Nottingham still wanting to attend training, policy discussions, and campaign planning, the Green Liberal Democrat events team have worked to make their Summer School & Conference fully hybrid.

  • Levy Briefing
    Article: May 26, 2022
    By Francis Thomas

    On the 26th May 2022, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a new tax on the profits of oil and gas companies operating in the UK and the UK Continental Shelf.

    At 25%, the so-called 'Energy Profits Levy' is positioned as similar to the Windfall Tax that the Liberal Democrats first called for on October the 24th of last year.

    Great news, right? The Conservatives bowed to our pressure, recognising that we had won the argument?

    Well.

    Not all is as it seems.

    Rather, the Levy finances the increased production and dependence on fossil fuels.

    Christine Jardine MP, our Treasury spokesperson, said:

    "This is more a levy lite than a windfall tax. The Chancellor could have raised double the cash from oil and gas companies if he had the bottle."


    In this Green Liberal Democrat Briefing, we will cover all you need to know about today's 'Energy Profits Levy'.

  • LEAF header
    Article: May 26, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    This year, we donated bundles of 1,000 petitions to our Accredited Candidates throughout the UK. This effort was funded by the LEAF - the Local Environment Action Fund - designed to assist campaigning Liberal Democrats who have committed to delivering greener, cleaner, healthier communities.

    Your generous donations allowed us to support 50 Accredited Candidates in the first year. We want to talk with you about some of our wins.

    Of our 50 supported candidates, 31 were entrusted to represent their communities as Councillors.

    Our Accredited Candidates won in England, Scotland, and Wales, whilst many now sit as Cabinet members in councils newly under Liberal Democrat control.

    From ousting the leader of the Conservative Administration in Colchester, to beating the the head of the Conservative Party HQ 'Liberal Democrat Unit' in Somerset, Green Liberal Democrats held the inaction and arrogance of this Government to account.

    Alongside 30% swings from Labour to win in Greater Manchester and topping the poll in a 'strong SNP' ward, no party remained safe from our campaigns.

    Again, that's 31 new Councillors. 62% of the Accredited Candidates that we directly supported through the LEAF won their seats.

    Many of these Councillors - and others besides - are joining us at our Summer School & Conference - A Turning Point.

    Our 'Green Debut' training will inform how you can deliver climate action on your council from administration or opposition, using the positions granted by our communities to work for greener, cleaner, healthier communities.

    Attend 'Green Debut' training at A Turning Point

    Alongside our training, get a ticket to attend:

    • Keynote speeches.
    • Panel discussions.
    • Special Interest Groups.
    • Campaign planning.
    • Networking opportunities.
    • Vegan lunch!
    P.S: We hope that for new councillors, attending our Summer School & Conference will be particularly informative.

    But if you're an incumbent looking for the next big idea, our training, panels, and Special Interest Groups would be perfect for you also. We have something for everyone!
  • Online Launch
    Article: May 23, 2022
    By Keith Melton

    Summer School & Conference Online Tickets Launched!

    Dear Members,

    Our Green Liberal Democrats Summer School & Conference - A Turning Point is now a hybrid event!

    In light of many of you unable to join us in Nottingham but wanting to attend training, policy discussions and campaigning panels, we have worked with the conference team to make our Summer School and Conference a fully hybrid event.

    Our online-only ticket costs just £10 and provides access to participate in the virtual Summer School & Conference, attending training, watching keynote speeches, responding and contributing to discussions.

    Get your online Summer School ticket now!

    Here's what you'll be able to attend with your ticket:

    • 'Green Debut' training sessions.
    • Keynote speeches.
    • Panel discussions.
    • Special Interest Groups.
    • Campaign planning.

    Warm regards,


    Keith Melton

    Chair, 2022
    chair@greenlibdems.org.uk

    P.S: We know that the best value you can gain from our Summer School & Conference is if you join us in Nottingham, and I hope you can make it.

    But if not, we're pleased to provide an alternative!
  • T&H Let's Win
    Article: May 19, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    A byelection has been called.

    Only weeks away, on Thursday 23rd June.

    A rural seat, with a huge Conservative majority, held by the party under various conceptions since the 1800s, bar a brief Liberal interlude for Tiverton in 1923.

    An MP resigned in disgrace.

    Liberal Democrats already the bookies' favourite.

    Sounding familiar?

    The stage is set for another brilliant Liberal Democrat victory in Tiverton & Honiton.

    But to win we need your help.

    The new office in Honiton is nearly election-ready, and there are big action days this weekend. Events are available for registration and all information can be found here:

    Join us in Tiverton & Honiton!

    The tide is with us, but we won't even come close to winning without you.

    We've shown what we can do twice now in the last 12 months; in Chesham & Amersham, and then again in North Shropshire.

    If we can bring that level of passion and enthusiasm once again to Tiverton & Honiton, we can prove that those amazing victories were not flukes, and that the Liberal Democrats are back, and a force to be reckoned with.

    There's no secret recipe to Liberal Democrat election success, just the energy of activists and commitment to a weekend, an evening, and whatever support or time they can offer.

    We've made history twice in a row.

    Let's do it again.

    P.S: We want to get off to a flying start this weekend in Tiverton and Honiton. In North Shropshire, we learned just how vital it is to frame the conversation early.

    This is what the London School of Economics said about our campaigning following Helen Morgan MP's election:

    Donate here
  • ALDC Conference Blog
    Article: May 13, 2022
    By ALDC

    The Green Liberal Democrats are running their 2022 Summer School & Conference - A Turning Point - in Nottingham on June 11th.

    2022 Chair Keith Melton states:

    "I am sure you have been as delighted as we are by the results that our party has enjoyed in the recent Local Elections.

    Throughout the United Kingdom we are better placed to represent our communities and Liberal Democrat values.

    In turn, we are able to spark ideas and projects to tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

    Whilst those in positions running councils are particularly influential, even one Lib Dem can push for transformative action.

    That's why our Green Liberal Democrat Summer School and Conference is built upon training and panel discussions from experienced and inspiring councillors, leading the way in environmental Local Authority initiatives.

    I look forward to seeing you there!"

  • Last chance EB
    Article: May 11, 2022
    By Diana Catton

    Dear Members,

    Today is the final day for earlybird tickets to "A Turning Point" at Nottingham University on Saturday, June 11th:

    Get Early Bird Tickets Now!

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

    • 'Green Debut' councillor and candidate training sessions.
    • Keynote speeches.
    • Panel discussions with our MPs, colleagues, and partner organisations.
    • Special Interest Groups to produce policy motions.
    • Campaign planning roundtables.
    • Networking opportunities.
    • Vegan lunch!

    Best wishes,

    Diana Catton

    Treasurer, 2022
    treasurer@greenlibdems.org.uk

    P.S: Again, earlybird tickets are available up until 23:59 today. Once they're gone, they're gone!
    Book here
  • 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

  • Sewage
    Article: Mar 28, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    We've found that of all the problems facing us, many of our campaigners are finding the sewage crisis to be particularly resonant on the doorstep.

    The rural equivalent of air quality in cities, 36% of UK voters said they would be less likely to vote for an MP who did not support a ban on raw sewage dumped in rivers, rising to 41% of those who voted Conservative in 2019.

    In this Green Liberal Democrat Sewage Briefing, we'll discuss the problem we face, the solutions proposed by our party, and how we campaign on this issue to win seats and drive change.

    The Problem:

    Water companies made £2.8 billion of collective profits in 2020 and discharged raw sewage 400,000 times - for more than 3.1 million hours total.

    Shockingly, these figures are low-end estimates.

    They only encompass events self-reported by companies, and we are aware that not every incident is filed. For example, Southern Water were recently fined £90 million after they admitted 6,971 illegal discharges between 2010 and 2015.

    While some releases may be partially treated, storm overflows are raw and diluted only by rainwater. As a result, they contain anything that goes down the drain, from human waste to household chemicals and plastics.

    Also, following the impact on the UK's supply chains from Brexit and the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government enabled companies to discharge sewage at any time if there are a lack of treatment chemicals.

    Beyond just being unpleasant, sewage causes serious damage to waterway ecosystems, plant, animal, and human health.

    43% of river water bodies were impacted in 2020. Only 14% of rivers in the UK are of 'Good Ecological Status' within the Water Framework Metric, and over half of England's rivers fail to pass cleanliness tests.

    Sewage released into rivers contains high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous. These stimulate the growth of algae such as phytoplankton in the water or mats known as biofilms in the sediments, which can lead to algal blooms.

    Algal blooms block light needed for photosynthesis. Plants die, and are then eaten by bacteria which reduce oxygen in the water. Simultaneously, microorganisms decompose sewage and use oxygen from the water for aerobic respiration. Low levels of oxygen in water represents a significant threat to fish and insects.

    In UK waters, burbot and sturgeon are already extinct, while salmon - the so-called King of Fish - has suffered significant declines since the 1960s, and the European eel remains critically endangered.

    Toxic algae is also simulated by the nutrients from sewage dumping, producing chemicals that are dangerous to not only fish, but to humans or dogs that ingest the water.

    Surfers Against Sewage found that raw material had been discharged 3,000 times into English and Welsh bathing water beaches in 2020, linked to 153 reported sicknesses, primarily gastroenteritis and infectious diarrhoea.

    The Solution:

    At Spring Conference 2022, the Liberal Democrats passed a motion supported by the Green Liberal Democrats, proposed by Tim Farron MP and summated by our Vice Chair of Campaigns Cllr Pippa Heylings.

    The motion calls on the Government to:

    1) Set meaningful targets and deadlines for water companies to end sewage discharges.

    2) Introduce a Sewage Tax on water companies profits to fund the cleanup of waterways.

    3) Reduce the number of licences given to water companies permitting them to discharge sewage into rivers.

    4) Strengthen Ofwat's powers to monitor the annual financial plans and reports of the water companies in order to compel them to achieve a fair and transparent balance between consumer prices, shareholder dividend, staff remuneration and ongoing long-term investment in storm water infrastructure.

    5) Add local environmental groups onto water companies' boards.

    6) Work with local authorities to ensure water companies protect our rivers and seas by:

    i) Water companies being required to invest upfront in sewerage infrastructure to reflect environmental objectives in Local Plans and planning applications.

    ii) Identifying powers of local authorities under the statutory duty to promote wellbeing of the area and provide councils with the funding to meet this duty.

    The Campaign:

    P.S: If you know a fellow local campaigner who would find this briefing useful, feel free to share it with them and encourage them to join us for more guidance and resources throughout the year!

  • Spring Conference Green Guide
    Article: Mar 11, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    Throughout Spring Conference this weekend, there are a vast quantity of environmentally considered motions, fringe discussions, and speeches.

    We've collated them together to help you organise your calendar. We hope to see you at many of these, getting stuck in with all that Conference has to offer.

    If you have yet to sign up:

    Register Here

    P.S: If you're a first-timer who has never been to Conference, you can register for just £5 and get full access.

    Friday 11th March

    15:05 - 15:35: Policy Motion - COP15 and the UK Government
    Mover: Kate Parminter
    Summation: Richard Benwell

    17:40 - 18:45: Fringe - Green Liberal Democrats
    Legal Remedies for Climate Change

    18:45 - 19:00: Speech - Cllr Pippa Heylings
    PPC for South Cambridgeshire and Vice Chair Campaigns, Green Liberal Democrats

    19:05 - 19:50: Policy Motion - Action to Improve Air Quality
    Mover: Cllr Hina Bokhari AM
    Summation: Cllr Jon Ball

    Saturday 12th March

    11:40 - 12:20: Policy Motion - Ending Sewage Discharges
    Mover: Tim Farron MP
    Summation: Cllr Pippa Heylings

    14:45 - 15:45: Question and answer session: Sir Ed Davey MP

    16:35 - 17:40: Fringe - Green Liberal Democrats
    Energy Security: Breaking our Addiction to Fossil Fuels

    16:35 - 17:40: Fringe - LGA Liberal Democrat Group, ALDC, York Lib Dems
    The Local Race to Net Zero

    16:35 - 17:40: Fringe - Defra Spokesperson Q&A
    Tim Farron MP and Baroness Bakewell

    19:20 - 20:00: Back British Farmers
    Mover: Tim Farron MP
    Summation: Helen Morgan MP

    Sunday 13th March

    09:30 - 10:45: Emergency Motions or Topical Issue Discussions

    11:50 - 13:00: Speech - Sir Ed Davey MP

    13:00 - 14:15: Fringe - Green Liberal Democrats
    Local Government Action for COP27

    19:35 - 20:10: Policy Motion - COP27 and Climate Empowerment
    Mover: Cllr Pippa Heylings
    Summation: ALDC

  • ALDC x GLD
    Article: Feb 16, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    We've missed in-person events. That's why ALDC have launched Spring Conference Live in York, from 12-13th March.

    This is a weekend of training, panel discussions, catching up with friends, fellow campaigners, our MPs and Peers.

    Plus - attend the Leaders Speech Live from the Auditorium at the York Park Inn.

  • Article: Jan 29, 2022
    By Julia Ewart

    Back in 2021 there was a little flurry of excitement in the GLD Admin team when Francis Thomas was appointed as the Political Assistant to the group, whilst Julia Ewart came along and offered her energy to the team.

    In the short term Julia was seconded to the Membership team and she's worked along with Francis and the out going Membership Officer to 'tidy up' the membership list and to get the admin programme on track. Francis wrote a clear and punchy questionnaire to analyse the GLD offer and members were candid in their replies.

  • Article: Jan 29, 2022
    By Jason Billin

    Proposer - Jason Billin

    To separate out the roles of Treasurer and Membership Development Officer.

    As follows:

    6) Executive Committee

    Change:

    a Membership of the Executive Committee shall consist of seven elected officers [Chair, Vice Chair-Political, Vice Chair-Organisation, Vice Chair-Communications, Vice-Chair Campaigns, Youth Officer and Honorary Treasurer]; six elected ordinary members; and up to four additional co-opted ordinary members, in addition to those co-opted to fill any vacancies. Any vacancies occurring on the Executive Committee through resignation shall be filled by recounting the election in which the candidate was elected, redistributing his / her votes to their second preferences at the first stage. Any vacancies occurring through a lack of candidates may be filled by the Executive Committee by co-option.

  • Article: Jan 29, 2022
    By Jason Billin

    "You're still muted!" Another year of Zoom meetings and the odd excursion to help fight by-elections

    2021 has continued to pose difficulties due to remote working and social distancing.

    If, like me, you are involved in multiple voluntary and work-based teams, meetings sat at the desk, or on mobile phone (see, I can multi-task) tend to blur into one another…

  • Keith Melton's Chair (Keith Melton)
    Article: Jan 21, 2022
    By Keith Melton

    2021 - GLD Chair`s Report

    In the interests of developing synergy, I thought I would write an article for the Green Liberal Democrat website that would also function as my Chair`s Report to the GLD AGM to be held on Saturday 29th January. So, it would be good to see as many of you there as we can manage to get along.

  • AGM 2022 Graphic
    Article: Jan 10, 2022
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    We hope you all enjoyed a relaxing festive period.

    2022 will be an essential year for the Green Liberal Democrats, the party, and the wider environmental movement.

    Our Annual General Meeting is scheduled for 4PM on Saturday the 29th January.

    Add the event to your Google Calendar here

    The AGM provides a platform to elect our officers and executive and agree on a shared direction of travel in this most vital year.

  • Helen Morgan Hero
    Article: Dec 20, 2021
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    It's been a great week to be a Liberal Democrat. Green Liberal Democrat Accredited Candidate Helen Morgan defied the odds. Meanwhile, a hard-fought victory for Suzanne Fairless-Aitken in Hexham East took Northumberland County Council out of Conservative control.

    Since May 2021, we have gained the most seats in local byelections of any UK party. We accumulated more votes than any other party. We have won two headline Parliamentary seats through incredible vote swings. We're a strong campaign force again. But we cannot rest.
  • COP26 with Ed Davey
    Article: Nov 30, 2021
    By Green Liberal Democrats

    The Last Month - November

    We said that you would hear more from us. This is the debut edition of 'The Last Month', a new monthly email describing just what we've been getting up to on your behalf.

    Be sure to forward this to share how the Liberal Democrats are delivering on green action!

    It's been a bumper month for GLD, and our most instrumental in a long time.

  • COP26 with Ed Davey
    Article: Nov 26, 2021
    By Francis J. Thomas

    To support our employment programme, donate here.

    Hello all.

    I'm Francis, Political Assistant to the Green Liberal Democrats and our first full time staff member.

    I wanted to talk a little bit about who I am and the work I have been up to this month, in the first edition of my montly report as part of our pledge for greater transparency.

  • Poster
    Article: Nov 17, 2021
    By Keith Melton

    It was WET!!

    Thursday and Friday were lovely sunny days, cooped up in the Green Zone in meetings looking out, so we were looking forward to getting some fresh air on the march! The trouble was that the weather forecast on Fatima`s phone indicated a certainty of rain during the day on Saturday - and the forecasting record for her weather service is remarkable accurate.

  • Keith Melton
    Article: Nov 15, 2021
    By Keith Melton

    International Award in time for COP26

    Chair of the Green Liberal Democrats, Keith Melton, has won a Global Award from the journal, CEO Monthly, which has been making such awards for the last ten years. The journal is circulated to 60,000 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) worldwide every month and each year awards are made in a variety of categories, including awards for Chairpersons. The awards for 2021 are shown on the CEO Monthly Website here.

  • Keith & Fatima in Glasgow at COP26 (Keith Melton)
    Article: Nov 10, 2021
    By Keith Melton

    We got a bit wet during the march last saturday in Glasgow...

    But... we`re

    Back Home in the dry now!

    Fatima and I left Glasgow this morning to drive, with our caravan, back home to Nottinghamshire. Nice dry day for packing up and driving for six hours! Listening to the radio 4 news at lunchtime and then watching the TV news when back home, the draft agreeement for COP26 really looks a pretty tame affair. Lots of nice words hoping for this and urging that and calling for the other, but precious little in the way of hard ACTION.

  • Ed Fordham letter to PM pre COP 26 (Ed Fordham)
    Article: Nov 4, 2021
    By Peter Dobbs

    All Lib Dem County Cllrs have written a joint letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to support local councils in their attempts to move towards net zero carbon emissions.

    In their letter sent on Friday, they write "The UK's net zero target can only be achieved if Government and local authorities work seamlessly together. However we note that the National Audit Office commented in July that there are serious weaknesses in central government's working with local authorities on decarbonisation, stemming from a lack of clarity of local authorities' overall roles, piecemeal funding and diffuse accountabilities."

  • Article: Nov 3, 2021

    Steve Mason - Day Three

    'Day Three #COP26Glasgow

    Demo by Friends of the Earth, a hob nob with the Times and a quick chat with Dale Vince of Ecotricity.

    The take away moment from today?

    Arctic base camp.

    "13,000,000 litres of water melts every second in Greenland alone..."

    Just think on that...

    If we lose this battle, then we can kiss goodbye to the UK Climate, it will not be as is now.

  • Article: Nov 1, 2021

    Day One - 1st November 2021

    Just a short entry from me (Keith) this morning, before I spend the rest of today making sure the caravan is ready to go early tomorrow and is fully packed.

    My first COP26 thought this morning was prompted by a news item last night showing our PM - Boris Johnson - speaking at the G20 meeting in Rome. He was making it clear that we could not doubt that we were in a Climate Change crisis and we could not "...procrastinate any longer...!" What puzzled me, and has puzzled me for a long time to be honest, is that Governments around the world know the facts and yet allow themselves to be `lobbied` out of making the right decisions for the security of the planet.

  • Art
    Article: Nov 1, 2021
    By Francis J. Thomas

    On Wednesday, Rishi Sunak's long awaited - and frequently leaked - 2021 budget was revealed in the House of Commons. Let's go over three of the key headlines.

    Tax Cuts for Domestic Flights

    According to a study commissioned by Greenpeace and published on Wednesday, over one third (34%) of the busiest short-haul flights in Europe have viable, less polluting train alternatives. Researchers found that European nations could replace almost all the top 250 short-haul flights and save 23.4 million tons of CO2 per year, equal to the annual CO2 output of Croatia. Aircraft on routes shorter than 700km emit 250grams of CO2 per person per km. In comparison, long haul flights and and even diesel cars look squeaky clean, at 195 and 171g/km respectively. Electrified rail, however? 35g/km. Eurostar? 6g/km. Aviation has been the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe in the last three decades, whilst our trusty locomotive is only gaining in efficiency.

  • Keith Melton
    Article: Oct 31, 2021
    By Keith Melton

    Prologue - 31st October 2021

    Hello. I am writing this on Sunday 31st October, watching the opening ceremony. I am calling today`s entry into our Diary the Prologue, so that Day 1 will be on the 1st November, otherwise it could become really confusing!

    So, after much fanfare, the 26th Conference of the Parties - COP26 - is starting. The United Nations Climate Change Conference. Welcoming delegates from many countries travelling huge distances to be here, to bring about change which must be transformative. Setting limits established at the Paris meeting of 2015, the Spanish President of the previous conference making claims of what has already been done… it all sounds very positive.