THE BLOG

100 Days to Stop the Tories or Labour Neglecting the Environment

28/01/2015 11:40 GMT | Updated 29/03/2015 10:59 BST

The countdown starts today. Just 100 days left to ensure that any future government has a strong Liberal voice in it. That means a strong voice for social justice and economic responsibility, ensuring that we finish the recovery and do so fairly. But it also means a voice that will continue to stand up for a radical approach on issues like drugs policy, indiscriminate snooping and constitutional reform. Crucial issues, but ones that both Conservatives and Labour would happily sweep under the carpet and forget about altogether if they were given the chance.

Top of these issues for me is the environment. Over the past 5 years we've seen what can be achieved when Lib Dems are in government. We've doubled the amount of energy generated from offshore wind, encouraged the creation of the world's first Green Investment Bank and are introducing a 5p plastic bag charge from September to help protect Britain's natural habitat. Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey has led the fight against climate change, successfully pushing for a 40% cut in carbon emissions in the EU by 2030 and paving the way for a global deal at talks in Paris later this year. It's no exaggeration to say that without Lib Dems in government, the likelihood of reaching international agreement on tackling climate change would be seriously diminished.

If you want to see how Tories would approach the environment if governing alone, you only have to look at their voting record in the European Parliament. As Lib Dem Foreign Affairs Spokesperon Tim Farron recently pointed out, Tory MEPs have consistently voted against green measures including efforts to keep new air pollution limits on the table. Labour's record on the environment is admittedly slightly better. But Ed Miliband's plan to freeze energy bills would inevitably have a dramatic impact on green investment and jobs, while many in the party still regard the environment as a fringe issue. The truth is that the Liberal Democrats are the only major party that puts protecting the environment at our heart.

So in the coming months, I will be fighting to ensure that as many Lib Dem MPs as possible are elected so that the environment is not neglected in any future coalition government. As a government-sponsored report found today, protecting our natural capital goes hand in hand with securing our future economic prosperity and will have huge benefits for society, from improving health to preventing flooding. But to do that, we need Lib Dems at the heart of national decision-making, fighting for a more sustainable future.