Leading into the General Election, the following are the policies on climate change of those political parties with candidates in Coventry, listed in alphabetical order. We will update this page as the parties publish their manifestos. We hope to obtain the views of all Coventry candidates and publish here.
Contents of this page
After the publication of their “Contract with the people” we can find nothing on their website www.thebrexitparty.org about climate change.
We will use our £1 billion Ayrton Fund to develop affordable and accessible clean energy that will improve lives and help us to lead the world in tackling climate change.
We will invest in nature, helping us to reach our Net Zero target with a £640 million new Nature for Climate fund. Building on our support for creating a Great Northumberland Forest, we will reach an additional 75,000 acres of trees a year by the end of the next Parliament, as well as restoring our peatland.
Fight climate change and protect the environment
We will lead the global fight against climate change by delivering on our world-leading target of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as advised by the independent Committee on Climate Change. We have doubled International Climate Finance. And we will use our position hosting the UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow in 2020 to ask our global partners to match our ambition.
We will set up new international partnerships to tackle deforestation and protect vital landscapes and wildlife corridors. We will establish a new £500 million Blue Planet Fund to help protect our oceans from plastic pollution, warming sea temperatures and overfishing, and extend the Blue Belt programme to preserve the maritime environment. We will continue to lead diplomatic efforts to protect 30 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2030.
Our first Budget will prioritise the environment: investing in R&D; decarbonisation schemes; new flood defences, which will receive £4 billion in new funding over the coming years; electric vehicle infrastructure including a national plug-in network and gigafactory; and clean energy.
We will give city regions the funding to upgrade their bus, tram and train services to make them as good as London’s, with more frequent, better-integrated services, more electrification, modern buses and trains and smart ticketing – such as the vision proposed by Andy Street for the West Midlands.
We will make a £28.8 billion investment in strategic and local roads. We will invest £1 billion in completing a fast-charging network to ensure that everyone is within 30 miles of a rapid electric vehicle charging station. We will consult on the earliest date we can phase out the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars, while minimising the impact on drivers and businesses.
In the next decade, we will work with the market to deliver two million new high quality jobs in clean growth. We have ambitious targets:
Our world-leading offshore wind industry will reach 40GW by 2030, and we will enable new floating wind
We will invest £800 million to build the first fully deployed carbon capture storage cluster by the mid-2020s.
We will invest £500 million to help energy-intensive industries move to low-carbon techniques.
We will support gas for hydrogen production and nuclear energy, including fusion, as important parts of the energy system, alongside increasing our commitment to renewables.
We placed a moratorium on fracking in England with immediate effect. Having listened to local communities, we have ruled out changes to the planning system. We will not support fracking unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely.
We will help lower energy bills by investing £9.2 billion in the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals.
We will support clean transport to ensure clean air, as well as setting strict new laws on air quality. We will consult on the earliest date by which we can phase out the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars.
Oil and gas sector deal: The oil and gas industry employs almost 300,000 people, of whom four in 10 work in Scotland. We believe that the North Sea oil and gas industry has a long future ahead and know the sector has a key role to play as we move to a Net Zero economy. We will support this transition in the next Parliament with a transformational sector deal.
Transport: cycling £70 million 2020-21, £350 million over five-year period.
Nature for Climate Fund: £60 million 2020-21, £640 million over five-year period. Includes rural trees, urban trees and peat-land.
Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme: £170 Million 2021, £2.9 billion over five-year period.
Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund: £0 2020-21, £3.8 billion over ten-year period.
Electric Vehicle Infrastructure: £70 million 2020-21, £600 million over six-year period of support for electric vehicle infrastructure. This comes on top of recent £400m fund to help develop rapid charging infrastructure points for electric vehicles.
They promote the “Green New Deal” which, according to this page:
- This is a comprehensive ten-year plan ambitious enough to tackle climate and ecological breakdown at the scale and speed set out by science.
- It will deliver a fast and fair transformation of our economy and society, renewing almost every aspect of life in the UK: from the way we produce and consume energy, to the way in which we grow the food we eat, and how we work, travel, and heat our homes.
- This will be a combined investment of over £100 billion a year in the Green New Deal, with an additional investment in Universal Basic Income. Through this investment, we will provide new opportunities for everyone to work and live more sustainably and more securely.
There is a great deal more explaining how the Green New Deal will work with Energy, Housing, Transport, Industry, Forestry and Farming and Incomes.
For more download their manifesto here. This ends with the following summary of the cost of their plans:
This Manifesto proposes extra operational expenditure of £141.5 billion a year, paid for by a mix of tax reforms and savings measures. We propose £94.4 billion of capital expenditure, raised through government borrowing.
Surplus from our tax reforms and savings measures, alongside increased revenues from the new jobs created, will pay for servicing and paying down this extra borrowing.
There is an independent candidate in Coventry South. We have been unable to find any information on his policy on climate change.
The following are extracts from the manifesto that are relevant to climate change. Find the full manifesto here.
Economy and Energy
This election is about the crisis of living standards and the climate and environmental emergency. Whether we are ready or not, we stand on the brink of unstoppable change.
We must confront this change while dealing with the growing inequality and insecurity in Britain. Labour led the UK Parliament in declaring a climate and environmental emergency. The next Labour government will lead the world in fighting it, with a plan to drive up living standards by transforming our economy into one low in carbon, rich in good jobs, radically fairer and more democratic.
The climate crisis ties us all into a common fate. This election is our best hope to protect future generations from an uninhabitable planet. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said we need to cut global emissions in half by 2030 to have a chance of keeping global heating within safe limits – that means acting now, and acting decisively.
Delivering the far-reaching change needed to tackle the climate and environmental emergency will require a full mobilisation of national resources, both public and private.
Labour will create a Sustainable Investment Board to bring together the Chancellor, Business Secretary and Bank of England Governor to oversee, co-ordinate and bring forward this investment – involving trade unions and business. We will ask the Office for Budget Responsibility to incorporate climate and environmental impacts into its forecasts so that the cost of not acting will be factored into every fiscal decision.
The cost of not acting is far greater than the cost of acting. We will launch a National Transformation Fund of £400 billion and rewrite the Treasury’s investment rules to guarantee that every penny spent is compatible with our climate and environmental targets – and that the costs of not acting are fully accounted for too. Of this, £250 billion will directly fund the transition through a Green Transformation Fund dedicated to renewable and low-carbon energy and transport, biodiversity and environmental restoration.
We will create a National Investment Bank, backed up by a network of Regional Development Banks, to provide £250 billion of lending for enterprise, infrastructure and innovation over 10 years. They will be mandated to lend in line with our mission to decarbonise our economy while increasing productivity and creating good jobs across the country. As well as large-scale national and regional projects, smaller loans will be available through our new Post Bank based in Post Office branches, enabling thousands of bottom-up transformational changes by start-ups, small businesses, local co-operatives and community projects in towns and villages up and down the country.
We will make sure that the UK’s financial sector is helping to tackle the emergency rather than fuelling it. We will do this by improving the fitness of our financial authorities to mobilise green investment and by giving them powers to manage the risk to financial stability posed by short-sighted investment in polluting assets.
Just 100 companies globally are responsible for the majority of carbon emissions. We won’t be afraid to tackle this wanton corporate destruction by taking on the powerful interests that are causing climate change. We will change the criteria a company must meet to be listed on the London Stock Exchange so that any company that fails to contribute to tackling the climate and environmental emergency is delisted.
Energy use in buildings accounts for 56% of the UK’s total emissions, making it the single most polluting sector. We will develop the recommendations of our ‘30 by 2030’ report to put the UK on track for a net-zero-carbon energy system within the 2030s – and go faster if credible pathways can be found. We will deliver nearly 90% of electricity and 50% of heat from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2030.
We will build:
- 7,000 new offshore wind turbines
- 2,000 new onshore wind turbines
- Enough solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches.
- New nuclear power needed for energy security.
We will trial and expand tidal energy and invest to reduce the costs of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production. We will upgrade almost all of the UK’s 27 million homes to the highest energy-efficiency standards, reducing the average household energy bill by £417 per household per year by 2030 and eliminating fuel poverty. We will introduce a zero-carbon homes standard for all new homes.
As part of heat decarbonisation, we will roll out technologies like heat pumps, solar hot water and hydrogen, and invest in district heat networks using waste heat.
To balance the grid, we will expand power storage and invest in grid enhancements and interconnectors.
We will expand distributed and community energy, and immediately and permanently ban fracking.
We will support energy workers through transition and guarantee them retraining and a new, unionised job on equivalent terms and conditions.
We will introduce a windfall tax on oil companies, so that the companies that knowingly damaged our climate will help cover the costs. We will provide a strategy to safeguard the people, jobs and skills that depend on the offshore oil and gas industry.
Industry and Innovation
Labour will take full responsibility for our carbon footprint instead of passing the buck. We will instruct the Committee on Climate Change to assess the emissions the UK imports as well as those it produces, and recommend policies to tackle them, including making UK industry the greenest in the world.
Targeted science, research and innovation will be crucial to tackling the climate crisis, dealing with the plastic waste filling our oceans and addressing other societal challenges, such as an ageing population and antibiotic resistance. As part of our plan to usher in a Green Industrial Revolution, Labour will create an innovation nation, setting a target for 3% of GDP to be spent on research and development (R&D) by 2030. We will achieve this target by increasing direct support for R&D and reforming the innovation ecosystem to better ‘crowd in’ private investment.
We will launch a Climate Apprenticeship programme to enable employers to develop the skills needed to lead the world in clean technology.
Under this programme, employers will be expected to allocate 25% of the funds in their Apprenticeship Levy accounts to training Climate Apprentices. These funds can be spent directly or allocated to a ring-fenced Climate Apprenticeship Fund, which will be topped up with any surplus raised through Inclusive Ownership Funds and made accessible to non-levy-paying businesses.
Targeted bursaries will be available to women, BAME people, care leavers, ex-armed forces personnel, and people with disabilities to encourage them to take up climate apprenticeships – the STEM of the future.
Labour will ensure that councils can improve bus services by regulating and taking public ownership of bus networks, and we will give them resources and full legal powers to achieve this cost-effectively, thereby ending the race to the bottom in working conditions for bus workers. Where councils take control of their buses, Labour will introduce free bus travel for under-25s. We will increase and expand local services, reinstating the 3,000 routes that have been cut, particularly hitting rural communities.
Labour will deliver improvements for rail passengers by bringing our railways back into public ownership, using options including franchise expiry. This will enable us to make fares simpler and more affordable, rebuild the fragmented railways as a nationally integrated public service, cut the wastage of private profit, improve accessibility for disabled people, ensure safe staffing levels and end driver-only operation.
We will promote the use of rail freight in order to reduce carbon emissions, air pollutants and congestion on the roads and expand the provision of publicly owned rail freight services.
Our transport programme is focused on creating better, publicly accessible local transport systems. By improving public transport, Labour will help people to become less reliant on their cars, for our better health, for a cleaner environment and to improve quality of life in our towns and cities. The Conservatives have committed to ending new sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2040. Labour will aim for 2030.
We will position the UK at the forefront of the development and manufacture of ultra-low emission vehicles and will support their sale. We will invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and in electric community car clubs. We will accelerate the transition of our public sector car fleets and our public buses to zero-emissions vehicles.
We will introduce a Climate and Environment Emergency Bill setting out in law robust, binding new standards for decarbonisation, nature recovery, environmental quality and habitats and species protection.
We will maintain and continuously improve the existing EU standards of environmental regulation.
A Healthy Environment
Our polluted air contributes to over 40,000 premature deaths a year and poisons our environment, with further impacts on children’s health. But the Conservatives’ air-quality measures are so inadequate they have been found to be illegal.
Labour will introduce a new Clean Air Act, with a vehicle scrappage scheme and clean air zones, complying with World Health Organisation limits for fine particles and nitrous oxides.
We will provide an extra £5.6 billion in funding to improve the standard of flood defences and respond to the increased risk of flooding, prioritising areas at risk in North West England, Yorkshire and the East Midlands that have been neglected by Conservative investments.
Waste and Recycling
Waste, including plastic waste, pollutes our land and seas, killing wildlife and contaminating our food.
We will make producers responsible for the waste they create and for the full cost of recycling or disposal, encouraging more sustainable design and manufacturing. In government in Wales, Labour has transformed the position of recycling, placing them in the top five globally for recycling rates. A UK Labour government will learn from Wales’ example, and will also back bottle-return schemes.
We will invest in three new recyclable steel plants in areas with a proud history of steel manufacturing.
The following come from the “Our Plan for a Green Society and a Green Economy” section of their manifesto published on https://www.libdems.org.uk/plan.
Their analysis of how much this would cost (download the document here) is based on the assumption that staying in the European Union will secure a £50 billion Remain Bonus, with the economy nearly two per cent larger by 2024-25.
Most of the items in the list below are not costed. Green Transport (not listed below) is costed at £2.6 billion, Protecting the Environment at £1.3 billion.
Climate Action Now
The climate emergency can only be tackled effectively by ensuring that every relevant decision taken by national government, local councils, businesses, investors, communities and households makes progress towards the net zero objective. We will set a new legally binding target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2045 at the latest, and implement a comprehensive climate action plan, cutting emissions across all sectors. To realise these goals, we will:
- Require all companies registered in the UK and listed on UK stock exchanges to set targets consistent with the Paris Agreement on climate change and to report on their implementation; and establish a general corporate duty of care for the environment and human rights (also see Better Business section p.21).
- Regulate financial services to encourage green investments, including requiring pension funds and managers to show that their portfolio investments are consistent with the Paris Agreement, and creating new powers for regulators to act if banks and other investors are not managing climate risks properly.
- Establish a Department for Climate Change and Natural Resources, appoint a cabinet-level Chief Secretary for Sustainability in the Treasury to coordinate government-wide action to make the economy sustainable resource-efficient and zero-carbon, and require every government agency to account for its contribution towards meeting climate targets.
- Establish UK and local Citizens’ Climate Assemblies to engage the public in tackling the climate emergency.
- Create a statutory duty on all local authorities to produce a Zero Carbon Strategy, including plans for local energy, transport and land use, and devolve powers and funding to enable every council to implement it.
- Guarantee an Office of Environmental Protection that is fully independent of government, and possesses powers and resources to enforce compliance with climate and environmental targets.
- Increase government expenditure on climate and environmental objectives, reaching at least five per cent of the total within five years.
- Support investment and innovation in zero-carbon and resource-efficient infrastructure and technologies by creating a new Green Investment Bank and increasing funding for Innovate UK and new Catapult innovation and technology centres on farming and land use and on carbon dioxide removal.
- Implement the UK’s G7 pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, and provide Just Transition funding for areas and communities negatively affected by the transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Thanks to Liberal Democrat policies in government, the UK has made major strides in cutting emissions from power generation; wind power is now the cheapest form of electricity generation. Now we can go further: we aim to decarbonise the power sector completely, supporting renewables and household and community energy to create jobs and cut fossil fuel imports. We will:
- Accelerate the deployment of renewable power, providing more funding, removing the Conservatives’ restrictions on solar and wind and building more interconnectors to guarantee security of supply; we aim to reach at least 80 per cent renewable electricity in the UK by 2030.
- Expand community and decentralised energy, support councils to develop local electricity generation and require all new homes to be fitted with solar panels.
- Ban fracking because of its negative impacts on climate change, the energy mix and the local environment.
- Support investment and innovation in cutting-edge energy technologies, including tidal and wave power, energy storage, demand response, smart grids and hydrogen.
- Provide an additional £12 billion over five years to support these commitments, and ensure that the National Infrastructure Commission, National Grid, the energy regulator Ofgem, and the Crown Estate work together to deliver our net zero climate objective.
Warm Homes and Lower Energy Bills
Everyone should be able to afford to heat their home so that it is warm enough for them to live in. However, an estimated 2.5 million households in England live in fuel poverty, where they cannot afford to heat their homes to a decent standard partly due to poor insulation and heat loss – contributing to climate change and causing ill-health and early deaths. We will implement an emergency ten-year programme to reduce energy consumption from all buildings, cutting emissions and energy bills and ending fuel poverty – and generating employment – supported by investing over £6 billion a year on home insulation and zero-carbon heating by the fifth year of the Parliament. We will:
- Cut energy bills, end fuel poverty by 2025 and reduce emissions from buildings, including by providing free retrofits for low-income homes, piloting a new subsidised Energy-Saving Homes scheme, graduating Stamp Duty Land Tax by the energy rating of the property and reducing VAT on home insulation.
- Empower councils to develop community energy-saving projects, including delivering housing energy efficiency improvements street by street, which cuts costs.
- Require all new homes and non-domestic buildings to be built to a zero-carbon standard (where as much energy is generated on-site, through renewable sources, as is used), by 2021, rising to a more ambitious (‘Passivhaus’) standard by 2025.
- Increase minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented properties and remove the cost cap on improvements.
- Adopt a Zero-Carbon Heat Strategy, including reforming the Renewable Heat Incentive, requiring the phased installation of heat pumps in homes and businesses off the gas grid, and piloting projects to determine the best future mix of zero-carbon heating solutions.
Green Industry, Green Jobs and Green Products
Given the right support, British businesses have the chance to be world leaders in green technology. UK low-carbon businesses already have a combined turnover of £80 billion and directly employ 400,000 people, and under our proposals these will grow. We will provide support for innovation to cut energy and fossil fuel use in industrial processes – reducing emissions, cutting dependence on fossil fuel imports and generating jobs and prosperity. We will:
- Reduce emissions from industrial processes by supporting carbon capture and storage and new low-carbon processes for cement and steel production.
- Provide more advice to companies on cutting emissions, support the development of regional industrial clusters for zero-carbon innovation and increase the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund.
- Expand the market for green products and services with steadily higher green criteria in public procurement policy.
- End support from UK Export Finance for fossil fuel-related activities, and press for higher environmental standards for export credit agencies throughout the OECD.
The successful economies of the future will be those which adopt ‘circular economy’ techniques, cutting resource use, waste and pollution by maximising recovery, reuse, recycling and remanufacturing. This will cut costs for consumers and businesses, protect the environment and create new jobs and enterprises. We will introduce a Zero-Waste and Resource Efficiency Act to ensure that the UK moves towards a circular economy, including:
- Banning non-recyclable single-use plastics and replace them with affordable alternatives, aiming for their complete elimination within three years, as a first step towards ending the ‘throwaway society’ culture and an ambition to end plastic waste exports by 2030.
- Benefitting consumers through better product design for repairability, reuse and recycling, including extending the forthcoming EU ‘right to repair’ legislation for consumer goods, so helping small repair businesses and community groups combat ‘planned obsolescence’.
- Introducing legally binding targets for reducing the consumption of key natural resources and other incentives for businesses to improve resource efficiency.
- Extending deposit return schemes for all food and drink bottles and containers, working with the devolved administrations to ensure consistency across the UK.
- Establishing a statutory waste recycling target of 70 per cent in England, extend separate food waste collections to at least 90 per cent of homes by 2024, and strengthen incentives to reduce packaging and reduce waste sent to landfill and incineration.
Saving Nature and the Countryside
A healthy natural environment, where people breathe clean air, drink clean water and enjoy the beauty of the natural world, lies at the heart of the society and the economy Liberal Democrats want to create. Yet nature is under threat: unsustainable farming practices are depleting the soil and, together with air and water pollution, contributing to a rapid decline in the numbers of insects, birds and other animals. One in seven UK species are at risk of extinction.
We will protect the natural environment and reverse biodiversity loss at the same time as combating climate change. We will support farmers to protect and restore the natural environment alongside their critical roles in producing food, providing employment and promoting tourism, leisure and health and wellbeing. We will:
- Introduce a Nature Act to restore the natural environment through setting legally binding near-term and long-term targets for improving water, air, soil and biodiversity, and supported by funding streams of at least £18 billion over five years.
- Combat climate change, and benefit nature and people by coordinating the planting of 60 million trees a year and introducing requirements for the greater use of sustainably harvested wood in construction.
- Invest in large scale restoration of peatlands, heathland, native woodlands, saltmarshes, wetlands and coastal waters, helping to absorb carbon, protect against floods, improve water quality and protect habitats, including through piloting ‘rewilding’ approaches.
- Reduce basic agricultural support payments to the larger recipients and redeploy the savings to support the public goods that come from effective land management, including restoring nature and protecting the countryside, preventing flooding and combating climate change through measures to increase soil carbon and expand native woodland.
- Introduce a National Food Strategy, including the use of public procurement policy, to promote the production and consumption of healthy, sustainable and affordable food and cut down on food waste.
- Support producers by broadening the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator and supporting them with access to markets.
- Significantly increase the amount of accessible green space, including protecting up to a million acres, completing the coastal path, exploring a ‘right to roam’ for waterways and creating a new designation of National Nature Parks.
- Give the Local Green Space designation the force of law.
- Protect and restore England’s lakes, rivers and wetlands, including through reform of water management and higher water efficiency standards, and establish a ‘blue belt’ of marine protected areas covering at least 50 per cent of UK waters by 2030, in partnership with UK overseas territories.
- Create a new ‘British Overseas Ecosystems Fund’ for large-scale environmental restoration projects in the UK Overseas Territories and sovereign bases, home to 94 per cent of our unique wildlife.
- Establish a £5 billion fund for flood prevention and climate adaptation over the course of the parliament to improve flood defences, and introduce high standards for flood resilience for buildings and infrastructure in flood risk areas.
- Ensure that sustainability lies at the heart of fisheries policy, rebuilding depleted fish stocks to achieve their former abundance. Fishers, scientists and conservationists should all be at the centre of a decentralised and regionalised fisheries management system. Immigration policy should also be flexible enough to ensure that both the catching and processing sectors have access to the labour they need.
- Increase the budget for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, ensuring that agencies such as Natural England and the Environment Agency are properly funded.
Britain’s transport systems are broken. Commuting by rail is expensive, unreliable and unpleasant, and away from the major commuter routes, buses, trams and trains are so infrequent and expensive that cars are essentially made a necessity. This in turn has made air pollution – mostly caused by cars – one of the biggest causes of preventable illness in the UK, causing at least 40,000 premature deaths a year and costing the NHS £15 billion. And surface transport is now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, with almost no progress in reducing them since 1990. The UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions has risen by almost 80 per cent since 1990. Liberal Democrats will meet this challenge by:
- Investing in public transport, buses, trams and railways to enable people to travel more easily while reducing their impact on the environment.
- Placing a far higher priority on encouraging walking and cycling – the healthiest forms of transport.
- Accelerating the transition to ultra-low-emission transport – cars, buses and trains – through taxation, subsidy and regulation.
Together these steps will tackle the clean air crisis, meet the challenge of climate change, improve people’s health, stimulate local and regional prosperity and develop British zero-carbon industries, with benefits for jobs, growth and exports.
Clean and Green
To achieve our net-zero climate target by 2045, we aim to reduce emissions from surface transport to near zero; at the same time the transition to electric vehicles and from private to public transport will drastically cut air pollution. Emissions from the UK’s share of international aviation are much more difficult to tackle; we need to accelerate the development of new technologies and cut demand for flying, particularly from the 15 per cent of individuals who take 70 per cent of flights. We will:
- Accelerate the rapid take-up of electric vehicles by reforming vehicle taxation, cutting VAT on EVs to 5 per cent and increasing the rate of installation of charging points, including residential on-street points and ultra-fast chargers at service stations. We will ensure that, by 2030, every new car and small van sold is electric.
- Pass a Clean Air Act, based on World Health Organisation guidelines, enforced by a new Air Quality Agency. The Act will enshrine the legal right to unpolluted air wherever you live.
- Extend Ultra-Low Emission Zones to ten more towns and cities in England and ensure that all private hire vehicles and new buses licensed to operate in urban areas are ultra-low-emission or zero-emission vehicles by 2025; we will provide £2 billion to support this transformation.
- Shift more freight from road to rail, including electrifying lines leading from major ports as an urgent priority, and amend the current HGV road user levy to take account of carbon emissions.
- Support innovation in zero-emission technologies, including batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, supplementing government funding with a new Clean Air Fund from industry.
- Reduce the climate impact of flying by reforming the taxation of international flights to focus on those who fly the most, while reducing costs for those who take one or two international return flights per year, placing a moratorium on the development of new runways (net) in the UK, opposing any expansion of Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, and introducing a zero-carbon fuels blending requirement for domestic flights.
Reducing the Need for Car Travel
Liberal Democrats will invest in public transport, improving its reliability and affordability, reform the planning systems to reduce the need to travel and promote cycling and walking. We will:
- Give new powers to local authorities and communities to improve transport in their areas, including the ability to introduce network-wide ticketing, like in London.
- Implement, in cooperation with local authorities, light rail schemes for trams and tram-trains where these are appropriate solutions to public transport requirements.
- Restore bus routes and add new routes where there is local need; we will provide £4.5 billion over five years for this programme.
- Introduce a nationwide strategy to promote walking and cycling, including the creation of dedicated safe cycling lanes, increasing spending per head five-fold to reach 10 per cent of the transport budget.
- Build on the successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund established by the Liberal Democrats when in government, and workplace travel plans, to reduce the number of cars – particularly single-occupancy cars – used for commuting, and encourage the development of car-sharing schemes and car clubs and autonomous vehicles for public use.
- Amend planning rules to promote sustainable transport and land use.
Fixing Britain’s Railways
There is enormous scope to improve Britain’s railways, providing reliable and affordable train services and cutting emissions. The Tories’ and Labour’s ideological obsessions – the former with privatisation, the latter with nationalisation – only serve to get in the way of making real improvements through investment and regulation. We will improve the railways, reform the franchising system and improve services to customers. We will:
- Freeze rail fares for commuters and season ticket holders for a parliament, while we fix our railways.
- Extend Britain’s rail network, improve stations, reopen smaller stations and restore twin-track lines to major routes.
- Convert the rail network to ultra-low-emission technology (electric or hydrogen) by 2035, and provide funding for light rail and trams.
- Support High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, East-West Rail and Crossrail 2, but ensure far tighter financial controls and increased accountability to ensure that these projects are value for money, and address problems with implementation to ensure that HS2 opens as early as possible to meet our decarbonisation goals while minimising the destruction of precious UK habitats and woodland.
- Start a revolution in rail franchising by opening up the bidding process to public sector companies, local or combined authorities, not-for-profits and mutuals – which have the potential to deliver much better services than private operators.
- Build into new rail franchise agreements a stronger focus on customers, including investment in new stations, lines and modern trains.
- Create a new Railways Agency to oversee the operations of the railway network, removing the Department for Transport from day-to-day decision-making.
- Be far more proactive in sanctioning and ultimately sacking train operators if they fail to provide a high-quality public service to their customers.
- Improve the experience of people who rely on the railways for work by investing in commuter routes and the integration of rail, bus and cycle routes.
- Fix the broken fares and ticketing system so that it provides better value for money.
- Improve disabled access to public transport via the Access for All programme.
Liberal Democrats believe that all possible steps should be taken to promote animal welfare and prevent animal suffering, with better protection for animals, and full regard for animal welfare. We will:
- Enshrine the principle of animal sentience in UK law to ensure that due regard is paid to animal welfare in policymaking.
- Introduce stronger penalties for animal cruelty offences, increasing the maximum sentencing from six months to five years, and ensure that the National Wildlife Crime Unit is properly funded.
- Ban the sale of real fur, end the use of primates as pets, clamp down on illegal pet imports and establish an independent regulatory body for horse welfare to prevent the abuse and avoidable deaths of racehorses.
- Improve standards of animal health and welfare in agriculture, including a ban on caged hens, and promote the responsible use of antimicrobials.
- Develop safe, effective, humane, and evidence-based ways of controlling bovine TB, including by investing to produce workable vaccines.
- Minimise the use of animals in scientific experimentation, including by funding research into alternatives.
- Work within the EU to ensure that future trade agreements require high environmental and animal welfare standards, and legislate to ban the importing of hunting trophies where the hunting does not contribute to environmental protection.