The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace have published press releases in response to Sir Menzies Campbell’s keynote speech on the environment in Norwich today. Keith Allott, head of Climate Change at the WWF, commented:
Sir Menzies’ speech shows that he has grasped the need for urgent action to tackle climate change. The range of measures, particularly proposals on green taxation for transport, including aviation, and energy use are welcome. We also support his call to make the new Sustainable Building Code mandatory for renovations and refurbishment as well as new build.
Sir Menzies has highlighted the steps the government must take to get back on track to meet its target of reducing the UK’s CO2 emissions by 20% by 2010. The Lib Dems are spot on – they realise that the best way of getting there is by taking much tougher action on the power sector using the European Emissions Trading Scheme. Sir Menzies is also right that the range of emissions cuts from heavy industry through the scheme, currently being considered by the government, are ‘not ambitious enough’ and that ‘we can and should, do better’.
Ming Campbell has set the gold standard for green speeches. He was not only rich on vision but rich on policy details too. He’s right that the failure to commit to very basic common sense measures in the face of climate change is the key problem in the UK, so Greenpeace endorses Campbell’s challenge to the other parties. There’s too much talk from New Labour and not yet enough substance from the Conservatives.
Campbell was quite right to highlight how vital it is to transform our power sector in particular. The Lib Dems must be credited for their honesty and objectivity in opposing new nuclear power. It is really excellent to hear the Lib Dem leader asking what has happened to the re-wiring Britain agenda. He is quite right that reforms to our electricity network are the kind of measure that will really close the gap between rhetoric and action.