The Wave sends a powerful message to the Government

December 6, 2009 7:45 PM

Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle East Greg Stone joined 40,000 people at Saturday's The Wave mass lobby of Parliament to call for a low carbon economy and for the Government and world leaders to do more to deliver a meaningful deal at the Copenhagen climate change summit this week, to be chaired by Denmark's Liberal Prime Minister.

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg was the only party leader to attend the event, and Simon Hughes MP led a large Lib Dem contingent - the largest of any party - on The Wave's march through Central London to Westminster, along with thousands of others from charities, churches, trade unions, and environmental groups.

Greg said "It was amazing to be part of such a vibrant public campaign calling for the Government to do more to reduce emissions and achieve climate justice. Copenhagen is a vital staging post in the international fight to reduce carbon but the Government is not up to the task of driving through changes.

Labour has failed to cut emissions in the past and refuses to commit to what science demands in the future. We are still at the bottom of the European league table for levels of renewable energy, only above Malta and Luxembourg. The Conservatives were notably absent at the march, are a laughing stock on the international scene, and their environmental policies consist merely of empty platitudes.

The Liberal Democrats are different. We are the only party in UK politics with the vision, policies, ambition and ability to kill carbon emissions. We will make Britain carbon neutral by 2050. We will reduce emissions faster and more effectively than any other party. And we will make sure that every home is properly insulated within 10 years of taking power."

The Lib Dems believe that the UK government must show leadership at home by:

■ Saying yes to an immediate 42% reduction in the UK emissions by 2020 before leaving for the Copenhagen climate talks (the Government is currently committed to 34%).

■ Saying yes to a ten-year programme to offer the opportunity for every home to be a warm home by 2020.

■ Saying yes to 40% of all our electricity from renewable sources by 2020 (the Government is currently committed to 30%).

■ Saying no to the third runway at Heathrow.

■ Saying no to new dirty coal power stations without full CCS.

■ Saying no to the Government investing public money into Tar Sands oil extraction via nationalised banks.

At EU level, the Lib Dems believe that Europe needs to influence the climate talks by:

■ Committing now to a unilateral EU reduction of 30% by 2020 against a 1990 baseline, ahead of the talks and adopt a target of a 40% reduction against the same time on completion of an international agreement.

■ Commit to supporting a global finance deal worth $160bn per year from developed countries, without double counting emissions through offsets.

■ Introduce further confidence measures to cap-and-trade aviation and shipping; halt deforestation; stop extracting Tar Sands and unconventional fossil fuels.