Lib Dems call for clear departure from Tory green policy

A group of prominent Liberal Democrats have launched a book arguing that a low carbon economy and environmental investment will bring about a reversal in the economic downturn and set it apart from its Coalition partners.

Launched in Westminster today, The Green Book: New Directions for Liberals in Government, compiled by 27 Liberal Democrats and sympathetic experts, proposes a greener direction for the party.

It includes a foreword by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg and voices the concerns of leading Liberal Democrats who urge the party to back green investments in order to escape from sluggish growth and to create jobs.

Liberal Democrat Federal Policy Committee vice chair Duncan Brack argued that the book would distance the party from the Conservative’s environmental policy.

“We want the Green Book’s proposals for a sustainable prosperity to provide the core of the Liberal Democrats’ appeal at the next general election.

“This is already a clear distinguishing feature between Liberal Democrat and Conservative ministers, where Tories have done their utmost to obstruct Liberal Democrat efforts to support green industries, despite their potential for growth,” he said.

In addition, the Green Book calls upon Liberal Democrats to treat the environmental crisis as a core challenge of economic policy, rather than as a separate problem.

Chair of the Liberal Democrat policy working group on the transition to a zero carbon Britain Neil Stockley said: “For too long, we’ve put ‘the economy’ and ‘the environment’ in separate silos. The ‘green growth’ policies described in this book offer the best opportunity for the UK to escape from recession and to build future growth, jobs and prosperity.”

Liberal sustainability network convener Mike Tuffrey added: “The Green Book is a wake-up call for Liberal Democrats, who have become complacent on the environment. The leading businesses I work with are demanding more from politicians and this book offers a public policy blueprint for a sustainable future markedly more radical than any party.”

Conor McGlone

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