Lib Dem Conference: “It’s not green crap to us,” says Clegg

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has brought the party conference season to a close by insisting that a sustainable environment "will remain at the heart of the Liberal Democrats' vision for Britain's future".

In what proved to be the greenest speech compared with his Conservative and Labour counterparts, Clegg also told Lib Dem activists in Glasgow that his party would be launching a new commitment to ‘five green laws’ in its next manifesto, in an effort to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint. 

Party conference season: Full round-up

“Both parties in this Government promised we would stick to our green commitments, but it has taken constant pressure from the Liberal Democrats – not least Ed Davey – to hold the Tories to their word,” said Clegg. “And I can tell you now that a sustainable environment will remain at the heart of our vision for Britain’s future – it’s not green crap to us.

“We are the party of education and we always will be – because it is the driver of opportunity. Because if you want to spread opportunity you can’t just stop at today. You have to think about tomorrow too.

“And for that same reason, our next manifesto will contain something I can guarantee you none of the others will: A commitment to five green laws. Laws that will commit British governments to reducing carbon from our electricity sector… Create new, legal targets for clean air and water… Give everyone access to green space…. Massively boost energy efficiency and renewable energy… Prioritise the shift to green cars…Bring an end to dirty coal… Because Liberal Democrats understand that opportunity for everyone means thinking not just of this generation, but of future generations too.”

Another big green announcement made during the Lib Dem Conference came yesterday, when Energy Secretary Ed Davey unveiled ambitious plans to cut bills by diluting the dominance of the ‘big six’ and adding £100m worth of funding to the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

Lib Dem Conference: Industry reaction

As the party conference season draws to a close, Clegg will sit at the top of the pile among green entrepreneurs, with his Conservative and Labour counterparts  offering scant detail on energy, the environment and climate change in the build up to next year’s General Election.

Liz Hutchins, senior political campaigner, Friends of the Earth

“Nick Clegg is right to pillory the PM over his environmental commitment. For people who’ve been flooded or choking on polluted air, for those threatened by fracking or shivering in heat-leaking homes, green is most definitely not crap.

“But the Liberal Democrats have themselves failed to hold the green line in the Coalition, capitulating on landmark issues such as a legally-binding target for cleaning up UK power generation. Liberal Democrat green credibility will ultimately be judged by what they do in office – not the promises they make for the future.”

Luke Nicholls

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