THE BLOG

Labour's Green Plan

20/04/2015 09:25 BST | Updated 19/06/2015 10:59 BST

Nine years ago today David Cameron went to the arctic for his 'hug a husky' publicity stunt. Today, after five years of the so called 'greenest Government ever' all we have are broken promises of change.

In government David Cameron tried to sell off the nation's forests, refused to commit to decarbonising our power sector and undermined the green economy. The Lib Dems were too weak in Government to stand up to the Tories. That's why no one will believe the Tory and Lib Dem pre-election promises for action on the environment and climate change.

When it comes to action on the environment, Labour has a record to be proud of. Every radical, reforming Labour government has extended public access to nature and safeguarded our environment for future generations to cherish and enjoy.

The reason Labour has a strong record is because our values dictate that we must act to protect our environment. Building a more equal society means tackling climate change and protecting nature. The aims we have championed throughout our history - from decent living standards for working people, to care for the vulnerable, and a route out of poverty for those in the developing world, are all at risk from spiralling global temperatures. Not just in highly vulnerable countries fighting their way out of poverty, but here in the UK too.

But acting to mitigate the threat of climate change is not just a necessity for the future of our planet. The transition to a low carbon economy is also a huge opportunity for Britain, with the potential to be a major source of jobs and growth. The last Labour government was the first in the world to put carbon reduction targets into law, spurring investment and creating markets for thousands of British companies.

The next Labour government will commit Britain to decarbonising our electricity supply by 2030 to give business certainty to invest so we can create a million green jobs over the next decade and invest in green technology and green infrastructure to power Britain's economy forward into the future. To protect consumers, while we reform the energy market, we will freeze energy bills until 2017, ensuring that prices can fall but not rise, and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter.

Labour understands that you cannot separate the need to take action on climate change from the need to protect nature. Climate change presents the biggest threat to our natural environment. Our Labour values tell us, too, that everyone should have access to nature whoever they are and wherever they live.

The last Labour government championed the right to roam which opened up new land and increased access to our countryside and coast. The next Labour government will develop a 25-year plan for the recovery of nature, protect the public forest estate and bring nature closer to people by planting new woodland and trees closer to where people live.

The fundamental truth that runs through Labour's manifesto and the Green Plan we publish today is that Britain succeeds when working people succeed. Our economic success cannot be built by eroding our natural environment any more than it can by eroding wages or living standards.