2 2 Labour s Green Plan Contents INTRODUCTION GLOBAL ACTION TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE DOMESTIC ACTION TO ADAPT AND MITIGATE THE GREEN ECONOMY THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT MARINE PROTECTION LABOUR S GREEN PLAN LABOUR S GREEN RECORD TORY FAILURE
3 3 Labour s Green Plan INTRODUCTION Labour believes that addressing environmental challenges is a matter of fundamental social justice. Building a more equal society means tackling climate change and protecting nature. The aims we have championed throughout our history - from decent living standards for working people, to care for the vulnerable, and a route out of poverty for those in the developing world, are all at risk from spiralling global temperatures. Not just in highly vulnerable countries fighting their way out of poverty, but here in the UK too. But acting to mitigate the threat of climate change is not just a necessity for the future of our planet. The transition to a low carbon economy is also a huge opportunity for Britain, with the potential to be a major source of jobs and growth. The last Labour Government was the first in the world to put carbon reduction targets into law, spurring investment and creating markets for thousands of British companies. The next Labour Government will commit Britain to decarbonising our electricity supply by 2030 to give business certainty to invest so we can create a million green jobs over the next decade and invest in green technology and green infrastructure to power Britain s economy forward into the future. Labour understands that you cannot separate the need to take action on climate change from the need to protect nature. Climate change presents the biggest threat to our natural environment. Our Labour values tell us, too, that everyone should have access to nature whoever they are and wherever they live. The last Labour government championed the right to roam which opened up new land and increased access to our countryside and coast. The next Labour government will develop a 25 year plan for the recovery of nature, protect the public forest estate and bring nature closer to people by planting new woodland and trees closer to where people live. The fundamental truth that runs through Labour s manifesto and this Green Plan is that Britain succeeds when working people succeed. Our economic success cannot be built by eroding our natural environment any more than it can by eroding wages or living standards. Every radical, reforming Labour Government has extended public access to nature and safeguarded our environment for future generations to cherish and enjoy. With this plan, we aspire to do the same. ED MILIBAND CAROLINE FLINT MARIA EAGLE
4 4 Labour s Green Plan GLOBAL ACTION TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE As the terrible impact of the floods in Britain showed last year, climate change is now an issue of national, as well as global security. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made clear that if the world is going to hold warming below the internationally agreed goal of two degrees, global emissions need to peak and then decline rapidly to reach net zero emissions by the second half of this century. The weaker the action now, the more rapid and costly the reductions will need to be later. The general election means 2015 is a critical year for Britain. It is also a critical year for the world on climate change. Within months of Britain voting, the UN is holding a summit in Paris to agree a binding global agreement to tackle climate change. Analysis of the plans submitted so far, however, reveals they are not ambitious enough to limit global temperature rises to two degrees above pre- industrial levels. Based on the pledges made by governments, warming would only be limited to 2.9 to 3.1 degrees well above the two degree threshold. A Labour Government will champion increased climate ambition from all the world s major economies, beginning by making sure that Europe and European leaders are doing their bit. The European Union is currently committed to a 40 per cent cut in emissions on 1990 levels by Labour would work with other European governments for more ambition. UK Carbon Budgets - enshrined under the last Labour Government s ground breaking Climate Change Act and to which a future Labour Government is committed already require deeper cuts in emissions than those currently proposed by the European Union. If the other big economies step up, we can get back on track for two degrees. In Paris, Labour will work for a global, legally- binding and ambitious agreement that includes: Ambitious emissions targets for all countries, strengthened every five years on the basis of a scientific assessment of the progress towards the two degrees goal. A goal of net zero global emissions in the second half of this century. Transparent, universal rules for measuring, verifying and reporting emissions. All countries adopting climate change adaptation plans. An equitable deal in which richer countries provide support to poorer nations in their efforts to combat climate change. The effects of climate change hit the poorest hardest. Eradicating poverty will only be possible if we tackle climate change. If we do not cap temperature rises below two degrees, millions will fall back into poverty. This is why Labour will put climate change at the heart of our foreign policy. To tackle the inherent inequality that those who contribute least to a changing climate are those that are suffering most.
5 5 Labour s Green Plan We are proud of our achievements in government. With a Labour government, the Department for International Development led in helping developing countries adapt to climate change, helping protect more than 300,000 Bangladeshis from flooding by raising their homesteads above sea level, and supporting Caribbean countries to develop better early warning systems. We will expand the role of the Department for International Development to mitigate the risks of a changing climate, and support sustainable livelihoods for the world s poorest people. We will focus on mitigation, but also make countries more resilient through climate adaptation such as flood defences. Labour will: Champion increased climate ambition from all the world s major economies, beginning by making sure that Europe and European leaders are doing their bit to hold warming below the internationally agreed goal of two degrees. Work for an ambitious global agreement on climate change in Paris later this year, with ambitious emissions targets for all countries, strengthened every five years and a goal of net zero global emissions in the second half of this century. Expand the role of the Department of International Development to mitigate the risks of a changing climate, and support sustainable livelihoods for the world s poorest people. DOMESTIC ACTION TO ADAPT AND MITIGATE As well as working with our partners abroad, a Labour Government will show leadership at home to tackle climate change. The last Labour government introduced the Climate Change Act a world first, binding the UK by law to reduce carbon emissions and inspiring action in countries across the world. We remain committed to the Carbon Budgets enshrined under this Act, which commit the UK to a 50 per cent cut in emissions on 1990 levels by The roll out of low carbon power generation by 2030 is a key part of the cost- effective path towards meeting our 2050 target. The power sector is responsible for over a quarter of emissions and low carbon electricity offers a route to reducing emissions in other sectors of the economy, such as heat and transport. The next Labour Government will therefore set a legally binding target to decarbonise the electricity supply by 2030, consistent with advice from the Committee on Climate Change. Both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have blocked such a target in the last Parliament, and the Conservative manifesto explicitly rules out any targets for the decarbonisation of the power sector. Labour s decarbonisation target will mean that most new generation through the 2020s will be low carbon. Importantly, it allows for a portfolio of options, giving us maximum flexibility to reduce emissions in the most cost- effective way possible for consumers. Our commitment will underpin a clear long term policy framework, giving investors the certainty
6 6 Labour s Green Plan they need to make the investments that are required if we are to meet our climate change targets. In order to cut our emissions we must also reduce the amount of energy we use. Indeed, energy saving is the cheapest and quickest way to reduce our emissions. However, progress on energy efficiency has stalled in the last five years, leaving households and businesses exposed to energy price rises. Labour will fundamentally overhaul Britain s approach to energy efficiency, with an ambitious, long- term programme to upgrade at least five million homes over ten years and establish energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority. Many families in Britain have never had an energy efficiency assessment on their home, so they don t realise how much money they could save. We will provide half a million personalised home energy reports a year, detailing how households could save money on their energy bills through energy efficiency. We will offer free energy efficiency improvements to at least 200,000 households in or at risk of fuel poverty a year, delivered street- by- street by local authorities and other trusted bodies. For those households that can afford to meet the costs, we will offer one million interest free loans in the next Parliament to support the installation of energy efficiency improvements. In the private rented sector we will set a new target for landlords to upgrade their properties to a minimum standard of Energy Performance Certificate C by We will also work with industry to set a date for all new homes and commercial buildings to meet zero- carbon standards. Labour also remains committed to zero carbon homes and a genuine definition as set out by the Zero Carbon Hub. Labour is also opposed to an indefinite exemption of small sites. We will work with the industry to ensure this ground breaking policy is implemented under the next Labour Government. To protect our communities we also need to adapt to cope with the damaging impact of climate change. Labour s approach to climate change adaptation is driven by the belief that everyone deserves protection from the impacts of climate change regardless of wealth. It is the duty of government to provide strong leadership and adequate investment to ensure that all parts of the country and sectors of the economy are effectively adapting to climate change. Labour will develop a new National Adaptation Programme (NAP) to ensure that all Government departments and sectors of the economy play their part in adapting to climate change. Labour s new NAP will be delivered before the Paris climate negotiations in December 2015 to demonstrate UK leadership on a core aspect of climate policy. We will make adaptation reporting mandatory so that operators of critical infrastructure (such as roads, airports, rail, schools, hospitals) have plans in place for increasing resilience to climate change. This will allow preventative measures to be taken, bringing down costs in the long term. The new adaptation programme will secure better value for money by identifying approaches to adaptation that can also deliver benefits for the natural environment. We will prioritise land management reforms in upstream areas to
7 7 Labour s Green Plan permanently reduce flood risk. We will also create habitats for wildlife and urban green spaces that have the effect of absorbing excess rainfall and reducing river flows. Labour will: Set a legally binding target to decarbonise our electricity supply by Deliver energy efficiency upgrades to at least five million homes over ten years. Work with industry to implement the zero carbon homes policy. Introduce a new domestic climate change adaptation programme to protect homes and businesses from extreme weather. THE GREEN ECONOMY The transition to a low carbon economy is a huge opportunity for Britain, with the potential to be a major source of jobs and growth. We are determined to take advantage of this opportunity by making Britain a world leader in green technology and innovation over the next decade, creating a million additional green jobs. To deliver this, we will develop an active industrial strategy for the green economy and provide the Green Investment Bank with borrowing powers as soon as possible so that it can invest in green businesses and technology. Under the Tories, the UK has become less attractive for renewable energy investment. We will end the current uncertainty for investors, setting out a clear long term policy framework to unlock the investment needed for our future low carbon energy supply. This will be supported by ambitious domestic carbon reduction targets, including the decarbonisation target. We will take forward the Electricity Market Reform framework to provide certainty and create an Energy Security Board to plan and oversee the low carbon energy mix we need, which will include renewables, nuclear, green gas, carbon capture and storage and clean coal. Achieving this mix is not just necessary if we are to meet our carbon emissions targets and avert catastrophic climate change it will also protect us against future price rises. Experts are clear that in the long term a diverse and low- carbon energy mix is likely to cost far less than relying on fossil fuels. Labour s objective will be to reduce our emissions in the most cost- effective way possible for consumers. Onshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of large- scale renewable energy and has a vital role to play in our energy mix. The Tories arbitrary cap either means that they are not committed to decarbonisation or their route to decarbonisation will incur greater costs for consumers. There will be no moratorium on onshore wind under a Labour Government. Solar is another of the cheapest large- scale forms of renewable energy and Labour will work with the solar industry to provide the stable environment it needs in order to thrive. Alongside investment in renewables, Labour is also committed to investing in other clean energy technologies. Carbon capture and storage is a necessity, not an option. It represents an opportunity for Britain to become a global leader, to create jobs and is the only viable
8 8 Labour s Green Plan way to decarbonise our essential energy intensive industries. Labour will make carbon capture and storage a priority to support the development of clean coal. We will increase the role of the Green Investment Bank to drive investment, give new powers to the North Sea regulator to explore new ways to support carbon capture and storage, and will bring forward investment through Contracts for Difference for new carbon capture and storage projects. Labour also supports the development of new nuclear in the UK as part of a more balanced, secure and low- carbon energy supply for the future. Labour will enable individuals and communities to invest in clean energy and other low- carbon technologies through new green bonds. We will support the development of community energy to create a more diverse energy market, allowing more people to be part of our low carbon future. We will do this by ensuring the regulatory environment supports the development of this sector, and we will explore the potential for direct delivery of community- owned generation into homes and businesses. We will also ask the FCA to ensure that regulatory burdens do not un- necessarily impede these important projects. Labour s energy efficiency programme has the potential to be a major source of employment, stimulating economic activity and jobs. There are also wider opportunities to create jobs in Britain by using all our resources more efficiently and recycling waste at home rather than exporting it abroad. There is already a growing industry in re- manufacturing. It provides jobs in every region, and for every skill level. The next Labour Government will undertake a review of resource security to unlock the economic opportunities from using our resources more efficiently. This review will be led by the Treasury and it will galvanise real action across Whitehall, business and local government. Labour s approach will create confidence in the long- term demand for recycled material, encouraging more investment, boosting growth and high- skilled jobs and improving resource security. Action on resource security will also deliver the stability we need across our economy by reducing our exposure to volatile raw materials prices. Labour recognises that the UK is ready to benefit from major new low carbon projects and there is a strong economic imperative to increase investment in low carbon infrastructure. The next Labour Government will establish an independent National Infrastructure Commission to identify Britain s long- term infrastructure needs and monitor the plans developed by government to meet them. These plans will be consistent with achieving the UK s long term climate change targets and ensuring that economic growth meets sustainability requirements. Our National Infrastructure Goals will include making the UK the most resource and energy efficient economy in the world, decarbonising the power sector and ensuring we have infrastructure that meets the challenge of climate change, with flood risk reduction at the centre of our long- term infrastructure plans.
9 9 Labour s Green Plan Labour will: Develop an active green industrial strategy to create a million new green jobs. Set out a clear long term policy framework to unlock the investment needed for our future low carbon energy supply. Ask the Committee on Climate Change, with National Grid, to advise on the measures needed to maximise green gas. Give the Green Investment Bank borrowing powers. Enable individuals and communities to invest in clean energy and other low- carbon technologies through new green bonds. Support the development of community energy to create a more diverse energy market. Deliver a Stern- style review of resource security to unlock the economic opportunities from greater resource efficiency. Establish a new infrastructure commission to increase resource and energy efficiency, reduce emissions across the economy, and prepare for the impacts of climate change and reduce flood risk. THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT Everyone feels the loss of clean air, green spaces and we are all beginning to feel the loss of our once stable climate. It is the most deprived communities that have been hit hardest; who are the most vulnerable to the risk of flooding and who live on the most polluted roads. Labour has always been the party that has championed increased access to nature and green spaces. It was a Labour Government in 1949 that took the action to create our national parks. It was the same Labour Government that set the framework to designate and protect areas of outstanding natural beauty and expanded rights of way and public access to open land. Because our Labour values tell us that everyone should have access to nature whoever they are and wherever they live. These are the same Labour values which led us to the landmark Countryside and Rights of Way Act in 2000 which opened up new land for public access. That's why the next Labour Government will support the work of the Natural Capital Committee to deliver a 25 year plan to reverse the decline of our natural environment, tackle climate change and increase access to nature. We feel passionately about our local landscapes, our open spaces and wildlife. Land and nature are part of our common home and inheritance, and they contribute to our sense of identity. In a globalised world, our local environment provides us with a sense of place and belonging. Labour s 25 year plan will have clear five year milestones and a focus on bringing nature closer to people by making public access to green spaces a priority. We will defend the public forest estate from any future privatisation while reforming the role of the Forestry Commission so that new woodland is created closer to the places where more people live. We will deliver a step- change in nature conservation building on the work of the Lawton review and empowering communities to protect and improve the natural environment. We will ensure the development of coherent ecological networks to protect wildlife and reverse
10 10 Labour s Green Plan the decline of pollinators. We will maintain current protections for the Greenbelt but respect local decision making over greenbelt configuration and introduce a strengthened brownfield first policy making sure that as much building as possible takes place on previously developed land. We will also act to improve the quality of the air we breathe. Labour will give local authorities the power, as well as the responsibility, to tackle air pollution, and work with them to develop a strategy to meet EU targets on air quality in the shortest time possible. We will deliver a national framework for low emissions zones to give local authorities the security to invest in more liveable towns and cities. Labour s plans to bring nature closer to people and to reduce harmful air pollution will ensure our towns and cities to become safer and more beautiful places to live in. Our plan for nature will be developed alongside our new climate change adaptation programme. This will ensure that the next Labour Government delivers a new approach to environmental protection focused on preventative spending to secure better value for money. This will include creating strong incentives for environmentally friendly land management such as improving biodiversity and water quality by freeing up 150 million of Common Agricultural Policy funding for better environmental protection and introducing a new primary sustainability duty for the water industry. These reforms, coupled with a rigorous water- catchment management approach, will help replicate best practice where water companies already work with farmers, other land managers, charities and community groups to improve biodiversity and water quality. And to provide further safeguards for our environment, Labour will put in place a robust environmental and regulatory regime for the extraction of shale gas before it can take place. This will include measures designed specifically to tackle the climate change impact of shale gas, and forcing shale gas companies to protect sources of drinking water. Under Labour shale gas exploration will not take place in National Parks and protected areas. Labour won t allow shale gas development to degrade our natural environment or compromise our climate change commitments. Labour understands that whilst domestic action is essential, nature moves beyond borders and that cooperation with other nations is critical to reverse the decline of nature. Instead of flirting with exit from the European Union, Labour will lead the push for environmental action in Europe and defend important directives that provide Britain with clean air, clean beaches and wildlife protection. Labour will: Bring nature closer to people by planting new woodland and trees closer to where more people live. Protect the public forest estate from Tory privatisation. Develop a 25 year plan for the recovery of nature with clear five year milestones to measure progress. Tackle air pollution by devolving power and supporting local authorities to take action. Ensure a robust environmental and regulatory regime for the extraction of shale gas before it can take place.
11 11 Labour s Green Plan MARINE PROTECTION The next Labour Government will ensure that the UK becomes a global leader in marine protection. We will deliver a full Marine Protected Area around Pitcairn, funded within existing budgets and backed by private sector investment, and based on new satellite technology and communications. We will also take forward proposals for additional protected areas from the UK Overseas Territories of Ascension, and South Georgia and South Sandwich. If these can be successfully implemented, then consideration of the marine conservation potential of all the UKOTs will follow. In addition to our commitment to marine protection overseas, the Labour Party recognises there are significant pressures on the marine environment around the UK. Our marine ecosystems are collapsing, undermining fishing communities and our environment. That s why Labour is committed to establishing an ecologically coherent network of Marine Conservation Zones around the UK to complete the work of the Marine and Coastal Access Act Labour will also ensure that fishing quota allocation contributes to the restoration and maintenance of a thriving fishing industry, including the revival of coastal communities and the protection of the marine environment. Labour will: Deliver a Marine Protected Area around Pitcairn and continue to work with the UK Overseas Territories of Ascension, and South Georgia and South Sandwich on their proposals for additional protected areas. Deliver an ecologically coherent network of Marine Conservation Zones around the UK. Ensure that fishing quota allocation contributes to the restoration and maintenance of a thriving industry, including the revival of coastal communities and the protection of the marine environment.
12 12 Labour s Green Plan LABOUR S GREEN PLAN Labour will: Champion increased climate ambition from all the world s major economies, beginning by making sure that Europe and European leaders are doing their bit to hold warming below the internationally agreed goal of two degrees. Work for an ambitious global agreement on climate change in Paris later this year, with ambitious emissions targets for all countries, strengthened every five years and a goal of net zero global emissions in the second half of this century. Expand the role of the Department of International Development to mitigate the risks of a changing climate, and support sustainable livelihoods for the world s poorest people. Set a legally binding target to decarbonise our electricity supply by Deliver energy efficiency upgrades to at least five million homes over ten years. Work with industry to implement the zero carbon homes policy. Introduce a new domestic climate change adaptation programme to protect homes and businesses from extreme weather. Develop an active green industrial strategy to create a million new green jobs. Set out a clear long term policy framework to unlock the investment needed for our future low carbon energy supply. Ask the Committee on Climate Change, with National Grid, to advise on the measures needed to maximise green gas. Give the Green Investment Bank borrowing powers. Enable individuals and communities to invest in clean energy and other low- carbon technologies through new green bonds. Support the development of community energy to create a more diverse energy market. Deliver a Stern- style review of resource security to unlock the economic opportunities from greater resource efficiency. Establish a new infrastructure commission to increase resource and energy efficiency, reduce emissions across the economy, and prepare for the impacts of climate change and reduce flood risk. Bring nature closer to people by planting new woodland and trees closer to where more people live. Protect the public forest estate from Tory privatisation. Develop a 25 year plan for the recovery of nature with clear five year milestones to measure progress. Tackle air pollution by devolving power and supporting local authorities to take action. Ensure a robust environmental and regulatory regime for the extraction of shale gas before it can take place. Deliver a Marine Protected Area around Pitcairn and continue to work with the UK Overseas Territories of Ascension, and South Georgia and South Sandwich on their proposals for additional protected areas.
13 13 Labour s Green Plan Deliver an ecologically coherent network of Marine Conservation Zones around the UK. Ensure that fishing quota allocation contributes to the restoration and maintenance of a thriving industry, including the revival of coastal communities and the protection of the marine environment. LABOUR S GREEN RECORD The Labour Party has a proud record on climate change and the environment. The Labour Party in government: Introduced the Climate Change Act 2008 a world first, binding the UK government by law to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, which has inspired action and been copied in countries across the world. Doubled renewable energy generation and established Britain as a world leader in offshore wind, marine and tidal energy and carbon capture and storage. Led the way internationally, establishing Britain as the first country in the world to put climate change on the agenda at the G8 and to call a UN Security Council meeting on climate change. Passed the landmark National Parks Act 1949 into law to establish Britain s National Parks, and created two National Parks in the South Downs and the New Forest between 1997 and Established the Green Belt to ensure wildlife was preserved and people had access to open countryside. Enshrined the right to roam in law, giving universal rights of access to the countryside and the coast. Passed the Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009 to create an ecologically coherent network of new Marine Conservation Zones, national parks for the sea. TORY FAILURE David Cameron appointed Owen Paterson who has repeatedly questioned the existence of climate change as Environment Secretary. The Tories slashed flood defence funding and downgraded flooding as a priority, leaving thousands of families at risk. David Cameron ignored the advice of the Committee on Climate Change and refused to include a target to decarbonise our electricity supply by 2030 in his Energy Act. The Tories attempted to sell off the nation s forests. Under the Tories, investment in new sources of clean energy is running at half the level it should be to meet out emission reduction targets and the UK has become less attractive to green investors, falling behind France, India and Japan.
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