Lib Dems set the green standard

Why am I not surprised that the Liberal Democrats continue to set the green standard that other parties need to meet? A survey of party policies by all the different environmental campaign groups published today showed we are three times as green as the Labour Party, and streets ahead of the Tories.


I joined Friends of the Earth at university at the same time as I joined the Liberal Party because they were two organisations that campaigned for sustainability. My friend Richard Brown, who chaired the FoE group, now runs Eurostar.  I and my family have always sought to live as greenly as we can.  I will continue to publish my carbon footprint on this website.

I am proud that Liberal Democrats have an ambitious and realistic objective for a zero-carbon Britain, tackling carbon emissions from every part of the economy: transport, housing, offices and factories.

Despite all their warm words, it is telling that the Tories fail to get a single green light in today's survey. They are still divided between those like John Gummer who want to go green and those like John Redwood who do not. While the other parties may talk green, only the Lib Dems mean it.

But Labour is not much better. Green taxes have fallen for the seventh successive year and are now at their lowest level of GDP for a quarter of a century.

Green taxes - which include fuel duty, landfill tax, hydrocarbon duty, air passenger duty and others - took just 2.7 per cent of national income in 2006 compared with a peak of 3.6 per cent in 1999. This is the lowest level since 1981 under Mrs Thatcher's Government.  And who has been in charge of tax and the economy since 1997?

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