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See also News from the Liberal Democrats

Green Liberal Democrats: Recent News Articles

  • Mark Pack (Mark Pack)
    Article: May 21, 2017

    Mark Pack writes today :

    "An updated version of my 'what the Lib Dems believe' digital graphic is now out, and designed for much better compatibility with mobile devices

    - http://www.markpack.org.uk/libdem-beliefs/

    It's designed more for supporters rather than floating voters, as it emphasises what makes us Liberal Democrats rather than our immediate solutions to the most pressing issues of the moment, although Europe etc. of course do get a mention.

    Hope you find it useful!"

  • Tim Farron
    Article: May 17, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have launched their manifesto for a brighter future.

    Change Britain's Future is a plan for a fairer Britain where people are decent to each other, with good schools and hospitals, a clean environment and an innovative economy.

    Nothing is more important to our children's future than Brexit. A bad Brexit deal, with Britain outside the single market, will wreck the future for our children, our economy and our schools and hospitals. That's why at the heart of the manifesto is a commitment to give the people the final say on the Brexit deal in a referendum.

  • Air Pollution Crisis in Central Manchester
    Article: May 14, 2017

    The Conservative Government predict a steady decline in NO2 levels sufficient to render the Greater Manchester AQMA obsolete by the year 2020, due to the NO2 levels falling everywhere below the UK/EU legal limit of an annual average threshold value of 40 micrograms per cubic metre (40 μg m-3).

    The Government prediction was largely based on the replacement of the more polluting diesel and petrol engines by the Euro-6 engines for all new cars, buses and trucks. The national fall in NO2 levels is indeed happening, albeit slower-than-expected due to the 'Dieselgate' scandal and unbridled optimism.

  • Tim Farron addressing tens of thousands of pro-EU demonstrators outside Parliament.
    Article: May 13, 2017
    By The Voice in Liberal Democrat Voice

    Tim Farron's leader interview with ITV's Julie Etchingham was broadcast on Monday night.

    In it, he talked about his early life, his family, his friends and his vision for the country.

    In essence, he talked about wanting to lead us to a place where we were all decent to each other and where nobody had to hide who they are.

  • Nick Clegg
    Article: May 13, 2017
    By Caron Lindsay in Liberal Democrat Voice

    Call Clegg made a comeback on Tuesday. During the coalition years, Nick Clegg took questions every Thursday morning on LBC. The banter with Nick Ferrari resumed on Tuesday for an election special

    Watch Nick defend the proposal for a referendum on the Brexit deal

    Nick Ferrari suggested that he was defying the will of the people. Nick responded:

  • Austin car like brexit
    Article: May 13, 2017

    In an editorial criticising the Prime Minister's approach to Brexit talks the Observer's editor writes:

    "It is time for May to wake up and stop dancing to the ignorantly chauvinistic, jingoistic tunes of the discredited Eurosceptic right. A good start in re-establishing trust and goodwill would be a unilateral guarantee of the rights of EU citizens in the UK. It is outrageous that they, and Britons living in the EU, are still unsure of their fate. May should also end the absurd pretence that Britain can escape paying an EU leaving bill.

  • canadian flag with cannabis leaf
    Article: May 13, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats plan to break the grip of criminal gangs and protect young people by introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis.

    Why are we doing this?

    Because the current approach to cannabis has been a catastrophic failure.

    Unregulated cannabis is freely available and widely used, generating significant mental and psychical health problems - especially for young people - who are being harmed by increasingly potent products.

  • Document: May 8, 2017
    6.98 MiB drawing or desktop publishing document

    This report presents findings of a rapid study undertaken at the urgent request of Jane Brophy, the Liberal Democrat candidate in the upcoming mayoral elections for Greater Manchester.

    The objectives of the study was to shed more light on the invisible NO2 air pollution on the campus of Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). Jane Brophy was concerned about the presence throughout the MMU Campus of abundant prominent colonies of the nitrophilic Sunburst Lichen Xanthoria parietina recorded in a major report by an environmental team released in October 2016 on the Researchgate website.

    The LibDem mayoral candidate required the study to be completed in haste, not only due to the impending mayoral elections on May 4th, but more particularly due to the UK Supreme Court ruling that the Conservative Government must publish by April 24th its updated National NO2 Plan and subject it to public consultation. As ruled by the Supreme Court, the urgency of updating the National NO2 Plan was to ensure that the Conservative Government reduced the NO2 faster in order to mitigate the breach of UK 'air law' which derives from the EU 'air law'. Both in turn derive from the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

  • Article: May 8, 2017

    Please register to vote - not voting is half a vote to the UKIP/Conservatives

    Here's the new film from the Liberal Democrats, a handy guide to getting on the electoral register (which, despite many media reports, is the trendy thing to do these days as the register has recently reached a record level )

  • Article: May 6, 2017
  • C&C LD logo charcoal
    Article: May 6, 2017

    The idea of a "Progressive Alliance" in Canterbury to defeat the Tories is a superficially attractive proposal. However, there are formidable political and practical obstacles to such a scenario. While there are many people who would jump at the chance to see the Conservatives lose in this constituency, there are other non-Tory voters who, if deprived of a candidate from their own party, would not vote at all. There are also significant questions about what manifesto such a candidate would stand on beyond a simple anti-Tory message. It might just work were there a genuinely independent candidate that all the opposition parties could unite behind. Think Martin Bell in Tatton (1997) or Dr Richard Taylor in Wyre Forest (2001 and 2005). There is no such person in Canterbury that we are aware of.

  • Tom Brake
    Article: May 5, 2017

    Leaked negotiating guidelines, set to be approved at a special summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Saturday, show that EU governments have toughened up their Brexit negotiating position.

    The news comes as Theresa May and David Davis prepare to meet with Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU's lead negotiator Michel Barnier. It has emerged that EU governments will insist that any post-Brexit relationship must fully respect EU rules after Brexit.

    Brussels will also demand all EU citizens who have lived in the UK for five years acquire permanent residence rights. In light of the widely reported problems encountered by EU nationals legally seeking permanent residency, Brussels will demand that Home Office application procedures are streamlined.

    Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary Tom Brake commented:

    "The tougher position taken by the EU shows the scale of the diplomatic challenge this chaotic, hard Brexit government now faces.

    "It's shameful that our friends and allies in Europe feel they have to step in to demand our country treats EU nationals, who contribute so much to our society, with the respect they deserve.

    "These draft guidelines show that, far from taking back control, Brexit will in reality mean accepting the EU's rules without having a say over them.

    "Theresa May has chosen the hardest and most divisive form of Brexit, choosing to take us out of the Single Market before she has even tried to negotiate.

    "It is still possible for the British people to stop a Hard Brexit and keep us in the Single Market. Democracy didn't end on 23rd of June, and the people must have their say over what comes next."

  • Article: May 5, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have committed to ending the scandal of rough sleeping in Britain, as the Homelessness Reduction Bill enters into force today.

    Following a campaign visit to the Hundred Houses Society, a charitable housing association in Cambridge, Tim Farron announced a series of measures the party would put in place to help end rough sleeping.

  • Thomas Gravatt
    Article: May 5, 2017
    By Thomas Gravatt, Parliamentary Candidate for Southampton Test

    Thomas Gravatt, Parliamentary Candidate for Southampton Test, writes;

    Hundreds of thousands of young people have already signed up to vote in the General Election in June. Among that number will be a huge number of students.

    I've found that there's always confusion amongst students about where they can be registered to vote, this even led to some of my friends being unable to vote in the Referendum. It's important to clarify that students can be registered both at university and at home - but can only vote in one place.
  • Article: May 5, 2017

    Brentford and Isleworth Liberal Democrat spokesman, Joe Bourke has responded to news that the government has suffered a defeat in the High Court over its attempt to block publication of its strategy to tackle air pollution.

    Joe Bourke, the local Liberal Democrat candidate, said:

    "This is a dramatic defeat for the Conservative government. Ministers have used tax-payer money to try to hide proof of their environmental failures. And they have even failed there, too.

  • Cllr. Clive English at Wat Tyler Way accident hotspot
    Article: Apr 20, 2017
    By Clive English

    We previously reported that following sustained pressure from Liberal Democrat Councillors the Borough Council finally set up a working group to bring forward measures to improve Maidstone's dire air quality. This group, under the Chairmanship of High Street Liberal Democrat Councillor Clive English ,will deliver its full report in June, but action based on the group's work has already begun to be taken.

  • Article: Apr 20, 2017
    By Barry Holliday

    Sale of Green Investment Bank "politically dubious" - Ed Davey

    Ed Davey, former Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has accused the government of engaging in a "politically dubious" act announcing the controversial sale of the Green Investment Bank to an Australian bank in a cut price deal.

  • Sarah Olney and Caroline Lucas
    Article: Apr 18, 2017
    By George Miles in GLD Challenge Magazine (December 2016)

    Book review of "The Alternative (towards a progressive politics), edited by Lisa Nandy (Labour), Caroline Lucas (Green), and Chris Bowers (LibDem). With contributions from members of SNP, Plaid and others.

    In Brighton at the 2016 LibDem Conference Caroline spoke not of a centrally controlled Progressive Alliance but of many alliances of progressives at many levels - local, regional, national, global. Not the old tribal politics where politicians claim their party is perfect and has all the answers and that all politicians of other parties are wrong about everything all the time. I agree with Nick.

    I tried to speed read this book to review it but couldn't; it has dozens of chapters by dozens of authors on so many subjects, including Andrew George, Andrew Simms, Carys Afoko, Chris Law, David Boyle, Duncan Brack, Frances O'Grady, Indra Adnan, John Curtice, Johnathan Edwards, Johnathan Rowson, Katie Ghose, Mhairi Black, Neal Lawson, Norman Lamb, Peter Hain, Ruth Lister, Siân Berry, Stephen Joseph, Steve Reed, Tim Farron, Uffe Elbaek, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Zoe Williams and Neal Lawson.

    Maybe I'll read one chapter a night.

    The Conservative Party are changing electoral boundaries to their advantage and could win the next UK parliamentary elections again with a minority of the vote if the oppositions remain squabbling and fighting: with every party standing in every seat under the unfair First Past the post system. Unless, as is happening this week in the 2016 Richmond By election some parties don't field candidates, for the greater good.

    They are against the small green progress made by LibDems Ministers in coalition, raising house insulation building regulations, encouraging sustainable green power generation etc, they're trashing our planet faster and faster for short term profits.

    Maybe by 2020 many of the disasters of Brexit (whatever that means) will have become apparent and voters will rebel against the propaganda of the cotrollers of the Sun, Daily Express and Daily Mail. But billionaires will again invest millions to get their people elected.

    Would the LibDem (and Labour) constitution have to be amended to allow formal and informal pacts? If in Herefordshire we have a Libdem standing in South Herefordshire and a Green in North Herefordshire (opposing 2 Tories - Bill Wiggin and Jesse Norman) would I in the north be able to got on my bike and deliver leaflets for the green half of our alliance or would that be against party rules, would I have to drive to south Herefordshire or be expelled as a traitor?

    The 'leader' or 'chair' of a Parliamentary Progressive Alliance need not be the one with the most loyal MPs (Diane Abbott / Jeremy Corbyn / Hilary Benn / Dan Jarvis ) but could be a respected mediator like Caroline, Mhairi or even Anna Soubry!

    George Miles dicegeorge@hotmail.com

  • Article: Apr 3, 2017
    By Tim Farron MP

    In this talk, Tim Farron MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, gave his assessment of the UK clean energy sector and put forward the steps the Liberal Democrats will take to work towards a zero-carbon Britain.

    Powering A New Economy: How a Clean Energy Revolution Means Britain Can Lead the World

    It's a privilege to be here at Policy Exchange, following in the footsteps of the great and the good - indeed it was from this very podium that Michael Gove launched his leadership bid.

  • Catherine Bearder MEP
    Article: Mar 31, 2017
    By Catherine Bearder MEP in Liberal Democrat Voice

    Last weekend the Liberal Democrats Spring Conference voted to support Guy Verhofstadt's proposed initiative to allow Brits to keep their EU citizenship (if they want to!). Lib Dems believe that with our country split nearly 50/50 on our EU membership, it would be unfair to allow the process of leaving the EU to completely ignore the wishes of the side that narrowly lost and who want to continue with the EU.

  • Document: Mar 29, 2017
    165.89 KiB drawing or desktop publishing document

    GLD Constitution (March 2017)

    This document contains the Constitution of the GLD (Pages 1 to 4)

    Plus Standing Orders (Page 5) and Election Regulations (Pages 6 to 8)

    The constitution is also available as a web page at:


  • Nicholas Belfitt - Isle of Wight Libdem chair ()
    Article: Mar 23, 2017

    Isle of Wight County Press reports:

    "ISLE of Wight Lib Dems have taken their concerns about fracking to the party's national conference.

    Fighting fracking will be one of the party's manifesto pledges at May's Isle of Wight Council elections."

    More at: http://www.iwcp.co.uk/news/news/fracking-a-manifesto-issue-for-isle-of-wight-lib-dems-98041.aspx

  • The hydrogen economy (http://www.green-gas.net/k-h/index.html)
    Article: Mar 22, 2017

    http://www.green-gas.net/k-h/index.html is a translation of Karl‐Heinz Tetzlaff's 2014 website

    In a hydrogen economy energy is utilised and traded at all levels only as hydrogen. In practice this means:

    • Conversion of all forms of energy into hydrogen
    • Distribution of Hydrogen to the end user via the gas grid
    • Decentralised conversion of hydrogen into electric power, heat and transport at the end user
  • Gas Flares (GreenLibDems.org.uk)
    Article: Mar 22, 2017
    By Bill Powell

    Green Gas the Cinderella of energy

    by Bill Powell bill@vts16.fastmail.fm

    17/10/2016 (x) indicates a Note.

    BACKGROUND Former energy minister Ed Davey told the Liberal Democrat 2016 Spring conference that we'd continue to need gas for heating until at least 2030.

    a) I and only two other participants in the LibDem working party on energy policy had a professional engineering background. There we found that the consensus was that all UK premises could be raised to a 'Passivhaus' standard so there would be minimal need for heating. One of us suggested that there were 30 million premises (23 million residential) that would need £35,000 or so spent on each to achieve that. Multiply and the result is £1 trillion. This would not be government but private expenditure. He suggested such expenditure was unrealistic. But we were told that we were contributing to a political not an engineering document.

  • Article: Mar 21, 2017
    By S. Bolter

    Green Lib Dem Fringe Event 15:00 to 18:00 17 March 2017 at York.

    INTRODUCTION Steve Bolter, (then) Vice Chair (P) Green Lib Dems

    We aim to find How to build a Pathway to a Carbon Free Britainand then to tell the Nation about it.

    Back in 2013, Lib Dem Policy Paper 109 was entitled Transition to a Zero Carbon Britain

  • Scottish Lib Dem Logo (http://www.scotlibdems.org.uk)
    Article: Mar 21, 2017

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MSPs have used today's debate on the environment to brand the Scottish Government's draft climate change plan "timid and lacking ambition".

    This came after a number of critical Holyrood committee reports. The Scottish Government's draft plan failed to take account of the impact of proposed cuts in Air Passenger Duty and targets for renewable heat and transport are unambitious.

  • Mariam Mahmood - Scots LibDem Environment spokesman (Mariam Mahmood)
    Article: Mar 21, 2017

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has announced Mariam Mahmood as the new environment spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats.

    Ms Mahmood, originally from Glasgow, is a student at University of St Andrews studying International Relations and joined the party after the general election in 2015. Since joining the party, Mariam has been heavily involved in campaigning for the party, including campaigning alongside Willie Rennie in the Scottish Parliament Election - taking North East Fife back from the SNP.

  • Scottish Lib Dem Logo (http://www.scotlibdems.org.uk)
    Article: Mar 21, 2017

    We are trustees of a world, and a society, and must pass on a sustainable legacy which will benefit future generations.

    The liberal approach demands sustainability. We know there are never quick fixes that can do the job of a long term solution.

    Our belief in the empowerment of individuals is not limited to the current generation. Future generations have the same rights as we do to live their lives in the ways they choose. Climate change, pollution and the degradation of the natural world pose some of the greatest threats to the well-being and freedom of present and future generations that modern society has ever seen. We need to act at home and internationally to promote environmentally sustainable ways of doing things.

    We are internationalists because some goals are too big for nation-states to achieve on their own. Climate change and a healthy environment are two.

  • Article: Mar 21, 2017
    By Lynne Featherstone

    Baronesse Lynne Featherstone's speech about our planet, and what we can do to help:

    "Well conference....
    It's been quite a year.
    And if a week is a long time in politics - then this year has felt like an eternity.
    The election of Donald Trump. Leaving the European Union. The end of 'BrAngelina'.
    But even these events pale in comparison to the threat posed by climate change.
    For years we have known about the dangers of global warming and the melting of the polar ice caps.
    Academics have shown us the evidence.
    Physical signs around the world have begun to appear - droughts in some areas and floods in others.
    Global air pollution is getting worse.
    In the UK, an increase in floods has been attributed to climate change.
    It has taken many years of campaigning by individuals, charities and, of course, the Liberal Democrats, to cast the climate change deniers into the side-lines and help us recognise that climate change requires a change in the way we live.
    Children are now growing up with an understanding of the threat.
    Young people instinctively get that tackling climate change is the right thing to do.
    Millennials are asking their employers what they are doing to make their business more sustainable.
    Baby Boomers are buying electric cars and installing solar panels on their roofs.
    There has been a cultural shift.
    Politically, we have made huge progress.
    Almost ten years ago all major parties agreed to the Climate Change Act which was, at the time, an ambitious commitment to reducing our emissions.
    Then the Coalition took huge strides forward and took the rest of Europe with us - led of course by our excellent Liberal Democrat Secretaries of State, Ed Davey and Chris Huhne.
    We have a huge amount to thank them for.
    By the end of the Coalition, we Liberal Democrats had made Britain the fastest growing green economy in Europe.
    The amount of electricity from renewables had more than trebled.
    We had set up the Green Investment Bank, which has helped fund £11 billion worth of green infrastructure projects in the UK, with just £2.7 billion of investment.
    And we had invested £500 million in low emission vehicles.
    In 2015 we had a record-breaking year with billions of pounds poured into solar and wind energy and more homes powered by nature than ever before.
    None of these things would have happened with a Conservative only Government.
    We knew this at the time.
    Now we have proof that it's true.
    We wrestled hard behind the scenes for our green achievements in Government.
    Now it's clear for everyone to see that it was only the Liberal Democrats that had environmental protection built into its DNA.
    We have had less than two full years of Conservative-only Government, and already the list of anti-green measures is shocking.
    They have cut subsidies for solar and wind power.
    They have caused over 12,000 job losses in solar alone.
    They have scrapped the £1 billion Carbon Capture and Storage projects.
    They have cut the Renewable Heat Incentive.
    They have pushed ahead with fracking, even under National Parks.
    They have abandoned our Zero Carbon Homes policy to make homes more efficient and bills cheaper.
    And to top it all off, they have closed the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
    That, Conference, shows the Conservatives in their true colours.
    But now, sadly, the Conservatives are not the only threat to our fight against climate change.
    We have a climate-denier in the White House.
    Trump has called climate change a 'hoax' cooked up by the Chinese.
    And these weren't just meaningless words on the campaign trail. He has acted on them.
    Within hours of being elected, he removed all references to climate change on the Presidential website.
    Already, he has cut 70% of funding for measures to combat climate change, cut the government's Environmental Protection Agency by 25% and rolled back Obama era regulations designed to combat harmful emissions and corruption in oil and gas companies.
    And he is just getting started.
    There's a genuine risk that other countries will use Trump as an excuse for not acting themselves.
    The hard won, Paris Agreement, which gave so much hope just a year ago when it presented a united global ambition to tackle climate change, is now under threat.
    The global consensus is in danger of unravelling.

    And then Brexit.
    Our withdrawal from the European Union will shape this country's future for decades to come.
    But the government has taken an incredibly short-sighted view in pursuing a Hard Brexit.
    Hard Brexit will mean that we will no longer be held accountable to the EU for air pollution, already the cause of 40 000 deaths a year in the UK.
    Hard Brexit will mean that targets for recycling, emissions and renewable energy will be dropped.
    And most of all, Hard Brexit will mean that the UK will lose its voice at the negotiating table at a time when strong multilateral action is needed more than ever.
    Conference, you cannot have a safe environment with a Hard Brexit.

    That's why our role as Liberal Democrats is as crucial now as it ever has been.
    We have not abandoned our clean agenda despite the political challenges Britain is currently facing.
    We are still fighting.
    The Conservatives may have given up, pandering to Trump and their climate sceptic friends, but we will not.
    We are committed to reducing carbon emissions by 100% by 2050.
    We are committed to limiting global temperature rises by 1.5 degrees.
    We are relentlessly pro-renewables, pro-efficiency and pro cutting edge technologies that will take us towards a zero carbon Britain.
    As well as protecting the environment, we want to take the opportunity to make our economy stronger and create jobs across the UK.
    Our clean economy can make us prosperous while doing the right thing for the planet.
    It will also bring down energy bills and help tackle fuel poverty.
    Britain needs a new green industrial revolution - a clean industrial revolution.
    We need to do with clean energy what the Victorians did with rail and infrastructure.
    We must create a radical programme of upfront investment which transforms the world we live in.
    Because future generations will look back at ours and they will judge us. What will they think?
    I want them to look back and be proud that it was our generation that transformed our economy - from one reliant on fossil fuels to one that is sustainable.
    Conference, when it comes to climate change, we can't simply tinker around the edges.
    We need to be bold.
    We need to be ambitious.
    We need to take advantage of the huge opportunities before us.
    The Liberal Democrats are going further and faster towards a sustainable future than any other party.
    That is why, with the help of experts, we are doing the work to create a roadmap to a carbon free Britain.

    It will show us what actions need to be taken now in order to achieve a zero carbon Britain by 2050.

    It will focus not just on energy sources, but on how all businesses can be sustainable and help meet our targets.

    There is a huge amount of change that's needed:

    Reforming agriculture and land-use.

    Boosting natural protections such as peat and forestry.

    Electrifying transport.

    Developing smart technology and advancing the circular economy.

    Addressing the need for change in our homes and heating.

    And using the financial sector to promote clean industry, including through better disclosure of climate risk.

    Tim Farron has already called for concrete proposals to help us get to a Zero Carbon Britain by 2050.

    Just a couple of weeks ago he called for a British Infrastructure Development Bank to provide the funding for the sustainable building of the future.
    And he called for up to ten new tidal lagoons across Britain, to harness the power of the seas to power our homes.
    Britain's clean future is exciting.
    Our roofs will power our washing machines. We will charge our cars at home. We will make money from the waste we throw away. Our homes will be warm without turning the heating on. Our energy will be British, it will be clean and its production will create hundreds of thousands of jobs - in every part of the UK.

    But business as usual will not get us there.
    Small tweaks to the system and a gentle increase in renewables are not enough.
    Theresa May may not be a climate denier but she is a climate ignorer.
    She failed to mention climate change in her Brexit plan and her Party Conference Speech. In her Industrial Strategy, she failed to propose even one concrete measure to tackle climate change.
    Last week in the Budget, Philip Hammond too made no mention of the environment, climate change, the solar industry or air pollution in his Budget speech- including the much needed protection for businesses who face an 800% hike in business rates on their solar panels.
    Both May and Hammond are denying us the opportunity to be a global leader in clean energy and capitalise on the economic advantages before us.
    At the moment, we have a comparative advantage in the area of renewables which we can build on.
    We generate 40% of all offshore wind power across the world and we have the best sustainability expertise in the world.
    But in ten years our leading role could be obsolete.
    With countries like China and India sensing the business opportunities in the low carbon and no carbon economy, we will quickly be left behind.
    Unless, of course, we do the right thing and invest now.

    Meanwhile, what are our European neighbours doing?
    While our Government is fighting over how hard and fast to pull out of Europe and ruin our economy, other European countries are moving ahead with going green.
    There are many examples we can take:
    The Netherlands have developed a bike lane which is solar panelled.
    France has forced financial institutions to address the risk of climate change to their business.
    Denmark was run entirely on renewables for a day last month.
    Portugal managed to run on renewables for 4 days straight last year.
    Norway has pledged to become climate-neutral by 2030.
    While our Government is preoccupied with Brexit, other countries across the continent are pressing ahead.

    And what about even further afield?
    We might expect that developing countries would be falling behind on their efforts, especially when the leader of the US is uncommitted.
    But that's not true.
    Forty seven of the world's poorest countries have committed to a zero carbon target by 2050 - a target even more ambitious than Britain's.
    While Trump's election made Theresa May go quiet on climate change, countries in the Climate Vulnerable Forum - which includes Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Haiti - responded to him by making an even bigger, bolder commitment to reduce their carbon emissions than they ever had before.
    If they can stand up in the face of Trump, why can't we?
    When I was minister for International Development I visited many places already experiencing the harmful effect of climate change.
    Those in areas that have seen a deterioration of their crops over recent years know that climate change is a reality now and not a future possibility that they can ignore.
    People who live in cities that are thick with smog from polluting vehicles and buildings are crying out for cleaner, greener energy that protects them and their children's health.
    We have a responsibility to lead the way on the clean economy not just for our own sake, for the sake of those all over the world.
    A green revolution will transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
    Solar energy could provide cheap and reliable power to villages and towns currently unable to access mainstream energy sources.
    Expanding the circular economy will cut emissions and provide thousands of secure jobs.
    Cleaner air will increase the life expectancy of future generations.
    There are already many innovative projects helping people in developing countries to adapt and prepare for their future.
    Part of Britain's role in leading on climate change is to support this action - because we have only one planet and we share it.

    One reason why countries around the world are waking up to climate change is because of concerns about air pollution.
    Emissions are causing a global health crisis. China knows it. We know it.
    Here in Britain there are millions of people breathing in dangerously high levels of pollution each and every day.
    There are 40,000 premature deaths every year in the UK caused by pollutants.
    Exhaust fumes cause asthma in otherwise healthy children and stunt children's lung and brain development.
    Shockingly, 90% of the UK's population now live in areas where levels of air pollution exceed World Health Organisation limits.
    This public health hazard is unacceptable and costs the NHS and the economy billions of pounds.
    The Government has sat back and done nothing while legal limits have been broken.
    In Brixton, the annual air pollution limit was breached in just the first five days of 2017.
    At Heathrow, targets have been missed for the last decade but expansion is going ahead with no plan for tackling it.
    Here in York, the city was named by the World Health Organisation for breaching safe levels of fine particles last year.
    Meanwhile, the M25's busy Dartford Crossing was excluded from air pollution assessments because it was classed by the government as a 'rural road'.
    It's time for radical action to address this crisis.
    Diesel cars currently make up nearly 45% of all new car sales in the UK. That figure has risen from 18% in 2001.
    Many diesel car owners bought their vehicles in good faith that it was better for the environment than a petrol car.
    But now the evidence from experts is clear.
    We need to put our children's health first and cut emissions as fast as possible.
    Four cities around the world have pledged to ban diesel by 2025 - they are Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens.
    But none of our great cities are on that list.
    If Paris can do it, why can't our major cities, including London, do it too?
    It would be tough, but we could do it - if the political will is there.
    Liberal Democrats are calling for radical action to tackle the pollution crisis.
    We're calling for a scrappage scheme to incentivise diesel drivers to change their vehicles to electric ones, through cash payments.
    We're calling for a ban on any diesel-powered vehicle keeping engines running while parked or at a terminus.
    And we're calling for Clean Air Zones to be extended to more cities across the UK - including Manchester, Liverpool and York.
    Freight needs to be taken off the roads and onto trains, and the much-delayed electrification of the railways must be rolled out.
    More support for the move towards electric and hydrogen buses is vital.
    And to top it off, a phased-in ban on the sale of new diesel cars in the UK must be investigated.
    This crisis will not be fixed by a single solution. But if we act now with a programme of measures it will start to change.

    We must send a strong signal to the market that the future will be clean.
    For some people, this is a hard message; for example, London's black cab drivers.
    I spoke to a driver recently who said that the changes would cost him £40,000 and were bound to put prices up, making it harder to attract customers.
    He said that with Uber he already had enough to deal with.
    But then he said something crucial.
    He said to me, 'Despite it all, the question is what kind of world I want my grandchildren to grow up in.
    If we want to tackle our air pollution crisis, then hard decisions will have to be made.
    But the benefits will be huge.
    Britain could be a world leader in selling electric vehicles.
    There is a huge economic opportunity here for us to capitalise on.
    The more electric cars become mainstream, the quicker they will come down in price.
    And of course, we must also reduce the number of polluting vehicles by encouraging cycling, walking and using public transport.

    As Liberal Democrats, we have a job to do.
    We have long since fought for a green economy which places us at the centre of global efforts to tackle climate change.
    Now we are needed more than ever.
    We must be the opposition voice that is raising the level of debate, challenging the Government, offering better policies and holding them to account.
    We are the only opposition party that has a clear and coherent approach to the environment and the economy.
    And if we are to win this fight, we will need to win the public over to seeing tackling climate change not as something that is just for a handful of keen activists, but a patriotic endeavour for which we can all be proud.
    We must convince those on the right of the economic benefits to tackling climate change - the opportunities for job creation, prosperous businesses and tax revenues.
    And we must convince those on the left that climate change will affect global poverty more than anything else.
    If we do not lead this fight, then who will?
    Conference, there is an urgency about this fight that is being ignored.
    There is no time to waste.
    We must act now.
    Let's work together to hold the Tories to account and create a Britain that future generations will look back on with pride.

    Coommentsplease onto our Facebook page:


  • Tim and Noreen Litter Pick March 2017
    Article: Mar 20, 2017
    By Rugby Lib Dems

    Councillor Noreen New and Councillor Tim Douglas who represent Paddox Ward took part in the Great British Spring Clean weekend, doing a litter pick in the Paddox and Hillmorton area on Sunday 5 March 2017.

    Noreen and Tim started in Featherbed Lane, covering the play area and skate park. They cleared the walkways leading from the playing fields up to Kingsley Avenue. Once on Hillmorton Road they litter picked all the way up from the shops to the Paddox Pub, Dunsmore Avenue and the alleyway leading onto Ashlawn Road. They finished along Elms Drive and Deerings Road.

  • Article: Mar 20, 2017

    South Lakes MP Tim Farron is calling for the government to introduce a new 'Warmer Homes, Cheaper Heating' insulation scheme to support residents living in fuel poverty. Figures show that more than 1 in 10 households in Westmorland and Lonsdale live in fuel poverty, and it is thought that cold homes could have been responsible for as many as 17 deaths last year.

  • Article: Mar 20, 2017
    Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today warned that the Scottish Government's climate change plan is not ambitious enough, as three parliamentary committee reports on the draft plan suggest further changes are needed.
    The reports from the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform committee, Rural Economy and Connectivity committee, Local Government and Communities committee and Economy, Jobs and Fair Work committee lay out a number of recommendations for ways in which the bill can be improved.
  • GLD Leaf 300 pixels (GreenLibDems.org.uk)
    Article: Mar 15, 2017

    Green Liberal Democrats Fringe 3pm to 5.30 p.m.
    Novotel, Riverside Room
    How to build a pathway to a Carbon Free Britain

    GLD is hosting a consultative session on this issue with Baroness Lynne Featherstone chairing.

    Members interested in sustainable energy and reducing energy consumption are encouraged to attend and offer their views on the policy way forward for the Party.

  • Document: Mar 14, 2017
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    2015 Constitution showing sections that have been amended for the 2017 version.

    This document needs to be read in conjunction with the proposed 2017 constitution that has
    also been marked with amendments.

    See also the exisiting 2015 Constitution unmarked

  • Document: Mar 14, 2017
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    Questionnaire prepared for our fringes and stall at March 2017 LibDem Conference,

    but fill it in here if you want,

    the more feedback the better!

  • Document: Mar 14, 2017
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    Green Liberal Democrats Annual General Meeting - March 2017
    Saturday 18th March 2017 - 7:45pm
    Hilton Hotel, Walmgate Room, Tower Street, York, YO1 9WD
    - Guest Speaker Tom Brake MP, GLD Vice President

    1. Minutes of the previous AGM (October 2015, Glasgow)

    2. Reports of Executive Committee and factual questions
    a. Chair
    b. Other Executive Members' Reports

    3. Election of Honorary Officers
    a. President
    b. Vice Presidents (up to 3)

    4. Election of Executive Committee:
    (Returning Officer takes the chair in the event of a contest)
    a. Chair
    b. Vice Chair (Organisation)
    c. Vice Chair (Political)
    d. Honorary Treasurer
    e. Membership Secretary
    f. Ordinary Members (7)

    5. Constitutional Amendments (see attached document)
    Members to vote on executive recommendations.

    6. Life members - Up to three life memberships may be awarded
    Members to vote on executive recommendations.
    7. Members questions, suggestions and comments.
    8. Any Other Business

  • Document: Mar 5, 2017
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  • Document: Mar 5, 2017
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  • Document: Mar 5, 2017
    5.29 MiB drawing or desktop publishing document