Climate change has been in news regularly in recent weeks. Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Ed Davey MP explains what we would do to tackle the climate change emergency:
- UK-wide action to green ourselves.
- Action to decarbonise capitalism – starting with the City of London.
- And an international green new deal – where richer countries support poorer countries.
Starting with the UK – Lib Dems have shown we can decarbonise and prosper. The previous (Coalition) Government make good progress on renewable energy and what many Lib Dem-led councils have done in their communities, the benefits of climate change action are proven.
Yet Conservative policies have since slashed investment in Britain’s renewable energy. We must reverse this and accelerate action to reach net zero carbon as fast as possible. Green technologies are there in abundance. But it needs strong political leadership, on everything from tidal lagoons to a hydrogen economy.
The emergency plan’s second part – decarbonising capitalism – is a project I’ve been working on for three years. By forcing global finance to take climate risk seriously we could catalyse trillions of pounds of private capital to flow out of fossil fuels and into clean energy. This could power emergency green investment and embed climate action into global capitalism.
The policies for this are radical – but practical. We should force banks, pension funds and stock exchanges to take climate resilience tests – like the “banking stress tests”. Overnight, it would require transparency over their fossil fuel assets, let investors know the true risks and allow regulators to consider penalties. And the public should have more say where our pensions are invested – so we know how green our own savings are.And radical is credible here.
This could unlock hundreds of billions for the UK’s climate effort – turning every bank into a Green Investment Bank!
Emergency plan part 3 recognises the UK can’t tackle climate change alone.
Climate diplomacy, know-how and green trade policies can now go further, especially given recent greening in China and India, where one third of humanity live. With vast supplies of ultra-cheap sun and wind power, we should now aim for a global Non-Proliferation Treaty on Fossil Fuels. And end exploration for coal, oil and gas, for ever.
The prize if we help poorer countries isn’t just defeating the climate change that affects us all. We can also tackle global poverty – with cheap solar to bring electricity to the world’s rural poor for the first time – and improve the world’s health by cutting air pollution.
So let’s campaign for an emergency plan for the climate crisis – and win a greener, safer and more prosperous world.
Find out more and support our campaign here.