Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg used his speech at the Liberal Democrat party conference in Brighton yesterday to highlight his party’s commitment to green policies.
In an attempt to distinguish the Lib Dems from their Conservative coalition partners, Clegg vowed to hold them to their promises on the environment.
“Going green means going forward,” he said. “Let the Conservatives be in no doubt, we will hold them to their promises on the environment.”
He criticised the Conservatives for “ruining” Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to be the “greenest government ever” at their 2011 party conference when the Chancellor George Osborne made it clear that he wouldn’t back environmental legislation at the price of the UK’s competitiveness.
Clegg reiterated the Lib Dems backing for a clean, green British economy reinvigorated by low-carbon technologies.
“Decarbonising our economy isn’t just the right thing to do; it's a fantastic economic opportunity,” he said.
Environmental group Friends of the Earth’s executive director Andy Atkins welcomed the statement, which was echoed earlier in the week by Energy Secretary Ed Davey, but warned:
“The key test of Clegg’s environmental resolve will be the forthcoming Energy Bill – it must contain a legally-binding commitment to decarbonise the power sector by 2030, as called for by the Government's official climate advisor.”
“It’s time to stand up to the anti-green Chancellor,” he added.
For further information:
Lib Dems and Labour back binding decarbonisation target (26-Sept)
Climate Change Committee condemns UK government’s ‘dash for gas’ (14-Sept)
UK Energy Secretary defends Energy Bill against “myths” (12-Sept)
UK cabinet reshuffle casts doubt on “greenest government” pledge (5-Sept)
27 September 2012