Climate change threatens not just our precious natural environment in Scotland, an environment which supports a strong leisure and tourism industry but also jobs across the rest of the economy, and our communities. That’s why it is so concerning that in the past eighteen months the consensus to tackle rising temperatures and pollution through global partnership has been upset by isolationism of Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump. There is the real possibility that the time when we need to do the most, the progress we have made will halt, or even reverse.
Keeping our country green is not just an environmental issue, but an economic and security issue. The green energy industry already supports half a million jobs and the Conservatives’ gutting of government support threatens the growth of this clean alternative to fossil fuels.
The Conservatives seem determined to take Britain back to the 1980s, when the UK was the ‘dirty man of Europe’, under the guise of cutting red tape. They have already cut support for renewable energy and home insulation, sold off the Green Investment Bank and failed to control air pollution. The regulations the Conservatives would love to put on the bonfire post-Brexit keep our precious natural environment vibrant, rich and secure for all to enjoy, keep our water drinkable, and air breathable. Their actions will put not just Britain’s environment at risk but the health of its citizens.
We are determined that we live up to our global environmental obligations and continue to make progress in building a green future. That’s why we will introduce FIVE green laws, each with a benefit for Scotland from an Air Quality Act preventing 40,000 deaths a year in the UK to a Zero Carbon Britain Act will set new legally binding targets to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
At over £1,200 a year, the cost of heating and lighting an average home in the UK is too high – and with a falling exchange rate, costs will rise further. More than two million families cannot afford to heat their home properly. Liberal Democrats will reduce energy bills permanently by improving home insulation and encouraging small-scale, community and local authority renewable schemes.
We will also ensure that British farming remains competitive and support for Scottish farmers remains the same in the event of Britain leaving the EU. Only the Liberal Democrats will keep our country green.