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  • CC
    Article: Feb 16, 2020

    People and organisations are at last getting on with tackling the climate emergency. But there is still more talk than action. Too much talking up achievements rather than recognition that we have barely begun tackle the problem. There is a lack of commitment to early dates for going carbon neutral. A few organisations are talking about going carbon negative. Shropshire has been in the slow lane but that is changing. We need to push the pace of that change.

  • Dr Yoew Poon
    Article: Feb 16, 2020
    By Dr Yeow Poon, Chair CLDs

    10 years ago, I had the honour of sitting beside Paddy Ashdown during a dinner function. When I asked him what liberal democracy was, he answered in 3 words 'Liberty, Fairness, Tolerance'. In the weeks leading to this evening, I asked several people - is Liberal Democracy as understood and practised today fit to meet the challenges of the 21st Century?

  • wind_turbine
    Article: Feb 16, 2020

    Chelmsford will be greener, safer, fairer and better connected under ambitious plans agreed by the Liberal Democrat led City Council. On 22nd January the Council approved 'Our Chelmsford, Our Plan' - the Council's aims for the coming years.

    The Plan outlines the Council's new priorities under four themes:

  • Sir Ed Davey MP
    Article: Feb 16, 2020

    Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has today called for a new governmental department to get the UK to Net Zero as soon as possible.

    In comments today at the Institute for Government, Ed Davey said the new department would take on all the powers of the previous Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) but would have "much more teeth and responsibility", with influence over transport, housing and finance.

    Speaking at the Institute for Government today, Ed Davey, Acting Leader of Liberal Democrats said:

    "When Liberal Democrats ran the Department for Energy and Climate Change we managed to more than treble Britain's renewable power and led Europe to adopt tougher climate change targets. As the world is waking up to the threat of the climate emergency, DECC is needed more than ever.

    "But rather than building on the work we did, the Conservatives abolished the Department. And alongside it they halted progress in its tracks, banning onshore wind, abolishing zero carbon homes and privatising the Green Investment Bank.

    "If Britain is to regain a leading role ahead of hosting this year's UN conference on climate change, we must make action on climate change a much higher priority. Liberal Democrats are calling for a new government Department - a Department for Net Zero. It would have the power and responsibility to transform our country and to take tough but necessary decisions on transport, housing and finance.

    "If the Tories fail to do that, they are simply not serious about tackling the climate emergency."

  • David Finch
    Article: Feb 16, 2020

    Adapting to climate change is no solution to preventing further global temperature rise, but it has become a necessity in the world we live in. There are obviously limits to our capacity to adapt and we must be honest about it.

    For example, rising sea levels can only be managed for a limited time before large areas of low lying land become submerged. This includes areas of Kent; the Isle of Thanet will be an island again, and the oysters may take over Whitstable.

  • Acorn CCUS (Pic from Acorn and Energy Voice)
    Article: Feb 16, 2020

    Last summer (26/06/19) the UK Government announced an award of £4.8 million to Acorn, for its Pale Blue Dot project involving carbon capture and underground storage (CCUS).

    The project, which will use the St Fergus gas plant near Peterhead and a number of existing pipelines will bring carbon dioxide as gas from Grangemouth near Edinburgh. The Grangemouth Refinery and Petrochemicals complex has been contracting spasmodically since 2005 and currently unused plant and equipment there can be used to handle carbon dioxide captured at English and Scottish power stations, e.g. Drax.

    Carbon dioxide can be transported either as a gas or liquid under pressure but in the quantites likely to be produced it is likely that it would reach Grangemouth by pipeline, rail or sea.

    The Pale Blue Dot project was originally funded by the EU and the Scottish government but now the UK contribution will go a long way towards meeting the £11 million cost of the next stage of working the project up to a commericial operation. This will last until early 2021 and Acorn hope to have the project working at planned capacity by 2024.

    The carbon dioxide is to be injected into depleted oil fields and into a geological reservoir of saline water deep underground.

  • Heathrow expansion ()
    Article: Feb 16, 2020

    The Liberal Democrats have today urged MPs to oppose "decisions that fly in the face of climate change commitments" and back their amendment to cancel Heathrow's third runway.

    Munira Wilson, the Liberal Democrats' Transport Spokesperson and MP for Twickenham, has lodged an amendment to a Labour motion calling for the cancellation of Heathrow's third runway.

    This move, to be debated in the House of Commons on Tuesday [05/02/2020], will give MPs the first opportunity to reject Heathrow expansion in this Parliament. It is also the first vote MPs will have on the issue since June 2018.

    Munira Wilson, Liberal Democrats' Transport Spokesperson, said:

    "Heathrow is already the UK's biggest source of carbon emissions and a third runway will increase the number of flights by 300,000 a year. We cannot continue to make decisions that fly in the face of our climate change commitments.

    "The utter cheek, therefore, of Tory Ministers claiming to be committed to achieving net-zero emissions whilst pressing ahead with one of the most damaging projects is beyond me.

    "Liberal Democrats will continue to fight against expansion of Heathrow airport and will hold the Tories to account on their poor record on tackling the climate emergency. We will therefore give Parliament an opportunity to put action to warm words and vote to reject a third runway."

  • CCUSIEA (Pictutre from IEA)
    Article: Feb 16, 2020

    Carbon capture has actually been around for a long time. In the late 1930s it was used to remove carbon dioxide from town case to improve its calorific value - but not for long.

    Carbon capture will cost a significant amount in terms of finance and energy - electricity production costs will go up and the energy available to consumers will go down. There will be net and not inconsiderable reduction in capacity.

    Then there's the problem that toxic chemicals and solvents are used to treat the flue gas.

    And once the carbon dioxide is captured then there is additional cost of getting it to the storage site and them forcing the stuff down into geological receptacle of choice.

    None of this is impossible, and improved methods of capture are being tested right now, but I think it is fair to say that this will be a transition technology to avoid waste of the investment already made in power stations still with decades of useful productive life.

  • Don Foster
    Article: Feb 8, 2020
    By David Green

    Liberal Democrat peer, Don Foster, working with the Sustainable Energy Association, yesterday introduced a Bill which will put the government's target for all homes to achieve Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2035 into law.

    If passed, this Bill will enshrine into law current government commitments on energy efficiency, ensuring that real action is taken on the climate crisis, rather than more years of delay and indecision.

    Ahead of introducing the Bill, Don Foster said:

    "This Conservative government must be held to account in meeting core climate objectives. This starts with ensuring that our homes are insulated, and that it's easy for people to make the changes they need to save money on heating bills, helping the planet at the same time.

    "I urge the Tories to demonstrate firm commitment to tackling the climate emergency by backing this Bill. Failure to do so would demonstrate a complete lack of ambition on the part of government on this crucial issue.

    "Liberal Democrats will continue to hold the government to account when it comes to tackling the climate emergency. We believe Britain should be leading global efforts to cut emissions and achieve net zero as quickly as possible."

  • Munira Wilson MP (Liberal Democrats)
    Article: Feb 4, 2020
    By David Green

    The Liberal Democrats have today urged MPs to oppose "decisions that fly in the face of climate change commitments" and back their amendment to cancel Heathrow's third runway.

    Munira Wilson, the Liberal Democrats' Transport Spokesperson and MP for Twickenham, has lodged an amendment to a Labour motion calling for the cancellation of Heathrow's third runway.

    This move, to be debated in the House of Commons on Tuesday [05/02/2020], will give MPs the first opportunity to reject Heathrow expansion in this Parliament. It is also the first vote MPs will have on the issue since June 2018.

    Munira Wilson, Liberal Democrats' Transport Spokesperson, said:

    "Heathrow is already the UK's biggest source of carbon emissions and a third runway will increase the number of flights by 300,000 a year. We cannot continue to make decisions that fly in the face of our climate change commitments.

    "The utter cheek, therefore, of Tory Ministers claiming to be committed to achieving net-zero emissions whilst pressing ahead with one of the most damaging projects is beyond me.

    "Liberal Democrats will continue to fight against expansion of Heathrow airport and will hold the Tories to account on their poor record on tackling the climate emergency. We will therefore give Parliament an opportunity to put action to warm words and vote to reject a third runway."