A report in today’s Bristol Evening Post, strangely (since its mostly about a national Lib Dem document), entitled ‘Councils’ key role in climate control’ starts by saying,
‘Individuals, households and communities all have a crucial role in tackling climate change, according to a new blueprint for cutting down on carbon emissions. Ideas have been proposed in a 50-page document called Zero Carbon Britain, an ambitious blueprint outlined by the national Liberal Democrat leadership this week. It lays out in-depth details of ways in which governments, individuals, businesses, industry, energy providers and developing nations can tackle the issue…’
This is pure ‘greenspeak’. Such environmental policies are completely inconsistent with what Lib Dems have been doing around the country in practice. Green MEP Caroline Lucas (http://www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk/) put the point very well when she said,
‘…their record in power at all levels is one of supporting both airport expansion and more road-building, …The truth is that we can't cut emissions sufficiently by tinkering around the edges of society. We will only reach a zero carbon society - as we must if we are to avert the worst impacts of climate change - by changing the very ways we do business, live our lives and measure progress: now that would be a truly radical proposition. As long as the other parties remain committed to economic growth at all costs and ever-freer international trade, this necessary radicalism seems far from their thinking, whatever their leaders are saying this week.
Only the Green Party recognises that if policies to address climate change require a different economic paradigm, then that's to be welcomed, since the kind of materialism that is currently driven by contemporary consumer capitalism is leaving people unfulfilled as well as destroying the planet. Far from being a sacrifice, a zero-carbon society will be a healthier, happier, society, with warmer homes, better public transport, stronger local communities, more green jobs - and more free time. Put simply, the policies we need to live good lives are precisely the policies we need to tackle climate change - and that is what we need to articulate if we are to have any chance of achieving a zero-carbon Britain’