Local councils have a key role to play in Britain’s zero carbon future according to a policy paper agreed by the Liberal Democrats.
Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners highlighting solar panel development in Dringhouses & Woodthorpe (from left to right: James Walker, Chris Twells, Cllr Keith Aspden and Cllr Ann Reid)
The ‘Green Growth and Green Jobs’ paper, which was passed at the Liberal Democrat Conference in Glasgow on Sunday, outlines a number of ambitious policies. The motion calls for an expansion to the government’s ‘Green Deal’ and says all homes should be brought up to EnerPHit ‘passivhaus’ energy efficiency standards by 2050. The paper calls on local councils to create arm’s length local energy companies to produce, distribute and sell electricity and heat. It also says all councils should have carbon reduction targets in local development plans and that councils should be working with local businesses to maximise renewable energy investment opportunities in their area.
In July local Liberal Democrats outlined ambitious plans to make York the greenest city in the north of England. The Lib Dem Group called on Labour run York Council to commit to achieving the highest recycling rates in the region, introduce an ambitious carbon reduction programme, and examine setting-up a doorstep food recycling service and a council-owned renewable energy company. Group Leader Cllr Keith Aspden met with Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey MP, to discuss the policy plans in Glasgow yesterday.
Speaking from Glasgow Councillor Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Group Leader in York, commented:
“This policy motion rightly puts local councils at the heart of the Liberal Democrat vision for a zero carbon Britain. It gives us the potential to make York the ‘Greenest City in the North’.
“Local councils like York should be leading the way, but since 2011 the Labour run Council has introduced a green bin tax, closed a recycling centre and overseen a rise in landfill tax and a fall in recycling rates. We need to reverse this decline and get York back to leading the environmental agenda. Ideas such as creating a local energy company and tackling fuel poverty by bringing all homes up to the highest energy standards should be brought forward.
“The Lib Dem plan for a zero carbon Britain will help to create green jobs, revive the economy, lay the foundations for new technologies, new industries and new, sustainable sources of prosperity, free the country from its dependence on fossil fuels and help tackle the grave threat of climate change.”