A 25-year plan for the recovery of Nature with clear 5 year milestones –
Climate Change centre stage –
Investment in the Green economy – with 1 million high productivity Green jobs –
Marine Protection –
The green agenda requires long-term thinking and planning.
Labour’s Green Plan – announced yesterday – shows that we are up to that. The party whose green credentials go back to the opening of the countryside to the people in the National Parks, shows it is prepared for the green challenges of the 21st century.
In February, Labour launched its policy document on protecting animals – on the tenth anniversary of the hunting ban.
Yesterday’s Green Plan – launched nine years to the day from David Cameron’s infamous husky-hugging trip to the Arctic – supplements last week’s Manifesto launch. [You can read its main lines below – and the whole document here.
Taken alongside our Policy Document on Protecting Animals, Labour’s Green Plan shows the strength of our green policies.
Those policies are deeply rooted in our history. We’ve delivered on the green agenda – from the 1940s onwards.
Labour believes that addressing environmental challenges is a matter of fundamental social justice. Building a more equal society means tackling climate change and protecting nature.
The aims we have championed throughout our history -‐ from decent living standards for working people, to care for the vulnerable, and a route out of poverty for those in the developing world, are all at risk from spiralling global temperatures.
Not just in highly vulnerable countries fighting their way out of poverty, but here in the UK too.
Within months of Britain voting, the UN is holding a summit in Paris to agree a binding global agreement to tackle climate change. It’s essential that the government that negotiates there has the strongest possible commitment – and the ability to work with our European allies and neighbours.
The Labour Party has a proud record on climate change and the environment. The Labour Party in government:
- Introduced the Climate Change Act 2008– a world first, binding the UK government by law to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, which has inspired action and been copied in countries across the world.
- Doubled renewable energy generation and established Britain as a world leader in offshore wind, marine and tidal energy and carbon capture and storage.
- Led the way internationally, establishing Britain as the first country in the world to put climate change on the agenda at the G8 and to call a UN Security Council meeting on climate change.
- Passed the landmark National Parks Act 1949 into law to establish Britain’s National Parks, and created two National Parks in the South Downs and the New Forest between 1997 and 2010.
- Established the Green Belt to ensure wildlife was preserved and people had access to open countryside.
- Enshrined the right to roam in law, giving universal rights of access to the countryside and the coast.
- Passed the Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009 to create an ecologically coherent network of new Marine Conservation Zones, national parks for the sea.
Labour has long put its money where its mouth is on environmental issues.
Under this LibDem/Tory Coalition, we’ve had as Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, who has repeatedly questioned the existence of climate change.
If you agree with our policies, help us to secure a Labour government on May 7 – and support the campaign for Alex Sobel to win here in Leeds NW – sign up now.
In Paris, Labour will work for a global, legally-‐binding and ambitious agreement that includes:
• Ambitious emissions targets for all countries, strengthened every five years on the basis of a scientific assessment of the progress towards the two degrees goal.
• A goal of net zero global emissions in the second half of this century.
• Transparent, universal rules for measuring, verifying and reporting emissions.
• All countries adopting climate change adaptation plans.
• An equitable deal in which richer countries provide support to poorer nations in their efforts to combat climate change.
• Champion increased climate ambition from all the world’s major economies, beginning by making sure that Europe and European leaders are doing their bit to hold warming below the internationally agreed goal of two degrees.
• Work for an ambitious global agreement on climate change in Paris later this year, with ambitious emissions targets for all countries, strengthened every five years and a goal of net zero global emissions in the second half of this century.
• Expand the role of the Department of International Development to mitigate the risks of a changing climate, and support sustainable livelihoods for the world’s poorest people.
Here at home Labour will
• Set a legally binding target to decarbonise our electricity supply by 2030.
• Deliver energy efficiency upgrades to at least five million homes over ten years.
• Work with industry to implement the zero carbon homes policy.
• Introduce a new domestic climate change adaptation programme to protect homes and businesses from extreme weather.
On the Green Economy, Labour will
• Develop an active green industrial strategy to create a million new green jobs.
• Set out a clear long term policy framework to unlock the investment needed for our future low carbon energy supply.
• Ask the Committee on Climate Change, with National Grid, to advise on the measures needed to maximise green gas.
• Give the Green Investment Bank borrowing powers.
• Enable individuals and communities to invest in clean energy and other low-‐ carbon technologies through new green bonds.
• Support the development of community energy to create a more diverse energy market.
• Deliver a Stern-‐style review of resource security to unlock the economic opportunities from greater resource efficiency.
• Establish a new infrastructure commission to increase resource and energy efficiency, reduce emissions across the economy, and prepare for the impacts of climate change and reduce flood risk.
On the Natural Environment, Labour will
• Bring nature closer to people by planting new woodland and trees closer to where more people live.
• Protect the public forest estate from Tory privatisation.
• Develop a 25 year plan for the recovery of nature with clear five year milestones to measure progress.
• Tackle air pollution by devolving power and supporting local authorities to take action.
• Ensure a robust environmental and regulatory regime for the extraction of shale gas before it can take place.
On Marine Protection, Labour will
• Deliver a Marine Protected Area around Pitcairn and continue to work with the UK Overseas Territories of Ascension, and South Georgia and South Sandwich on their proposals for additional protected areas.
• Deliver an ecologically coherent network of Marine Conservation Zones around the UK.
• Ensure that fishing quota allocation contributes to the restoration and maintenance of a thriving industry, including the revival of coastal communities and the protection of the marine environment.