UK must show true leadership in tackling climate emergency, says Davey


It is time for the UK to show “true leadership” in tackling the climate emergency, Boris Johnson has been told.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey urged the Government to show greater ambition on its climate plans.

Setting out his party’s 10-point plan for the UK to reach net zero, Sir Ed accused the Conservatives of wasting chances to lead the world with a more “optimistic view” on climate economics.

Under the plan, detailed in the letter also sent to Business Secretary Alok Sharma, the Lib Dems propose a new zero carbon partnership with industry, focused on hydrogen and carbon capture, usage and storage technology.

They also suggest a green road “transport revolution”, including cutting VAT on electric vehicles, increased investment in charging points and a £7.5 billion eVehicle fund.

The plan also includes a ten-year programme with the aim of upgrading all UK homes as part of a push to shift to 80% of renewable energy by 2030, as well as ending fuel poverty and cutting heating bills.

Sir Ed said that progress on tackling climate change has been reversed under the Conservatives since 2015.

“The Tories’ net-zero plan is just not fit for purpose,” said Mr Davey.

“The aim to achieve net zero may be there, but the policies, the investment and the ambition are absent.

“The Liberal Democrats kick-started the UK on the path to tackling climate change when we made the UK the world leader in offshore wind and nearly quadrupled UK renewables.

“But since 2015 the Tories have wasted that opportunity and reversed progress.

“This new government plan will not even undo the damage of the last five years, let alone fuel the journey to net zero.”

Mr Davey insisted the plan set out by his party would help position the UK as a “world-leader” on tackling the climate emergency.

He said: “We are now at real risk of falling far behind our allies, when we should be leading the world on cutting emissions, to protect our planet for future generations.

“Adopting the Liberal Democrats’ bold plan, backed by £150 billion of public funds, will position the UK as a world leader when it comes to tackling the climate emergency, as well as helping to reboot our economy, creating thousands of jobs as we look to rebuild from the Covid crisis. We urge the Government to take this step.”