The climate crisis isn't only in the national news on a daily basis it's also a subject Bill gets asked about every day that he is out campaigning. The crisis is evident across the globe including in our beautiful corner of it in Somerset and below Bill lays out his plans for Britain to tackle the crisis head on.
Our planet is on the brink of being irreparably damaged and we are responsible for that damage. The climate emergency is real and our planet is heating to unsustainable levels. Young people have taken to the streets, because they’re so worried that the politicians are failing to act. There is no planet B. We are facing a climate catastrophe which will create huge global inequalities. We have a moral duty to act.
Here in Bridgwater and West Somerset constituency we are already seeing the impact of climate change. Extreme weather events have caused coastal erosion at Blue Anchor and in 2014 serious flooding on the Somerset Levels. The flora and fauna on precious Exmoor are noticeably changing. Bridgwater and its environs would be inundated by the predicted 110cm rise in sea levels. We are truly on the front line of climate change. Since the Liberal Democrats took control of Somerset West and Taunton we have been working hard to develop a climate change strategy for the District.
The Liberal Democrats have a radical, credible and detailed plan to tackle the climate emergency. Liberal Democrats’ plan will halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2045 at the very latest; and sooner if it all possible. We will work with other parties to:
- Insulate every home by 2030, prioritising those in fuel poverty.
- Generate 80% of our electricity from renewable energy by 2030.
- Restore the Department for Climate Change, re-establish the Green Investment Bank and making Climate Change a cross government responsibility.
- Support a Citizen’s Climate Assembly, improving public engagement with the climate emergency and making recommendations to government.
- Provide new powers and funding to local authorities to deal with climate emergency.
- Ban fracking and instead focus on building renewable energy.
- Restore subsidies for solar power, increase construction of off-shore wind and end the ban on new onshore wind turbines, and invest in new technologies as well as carbon capture and storage.
- Restore the zero-carbon homes standard, ensuring that new buildings are built as efficiently as possible.
- Bring forward the date for the new sales ban for petrol and diesel cars to 2030 and cut VAT on electric vehicles to 5%. Invest in more electric vehicle infrastructure including charging points.
- Convert the entire rail network to ultra-low emission technology by 2035.
- Ensure there is no net increase in runways and tax the most frequent flyers.
- Reform agriculture subsidies to support farmers in cutting their greenhouse gas emissions while still producing food. Including measures to restore soil health, planting trees and restoring natural carbon sinks.
- Increase UK forest cover by planting 60 million trees a year to act as nature carbon sinks, while restoring peatlands and other natural carbon sinks.
- Stop Brexit. And instead work in the EU to achieve a net-zero EU, with a binding target of 2050 for net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the 28 member states.
As a truly local MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset I will speak out on these issues on the local, national and global stages and work with all who share these aims.