Jo Swinson and the Lib Dems appear to be treating climate catastrophe as a joke. The party’s new policy to plant 60m trees would only offset the UK’s recent annual net emissions by less than 0.5%. And their other policies on the climate won’t really do much to transform society either.
Planting trees is important. But it’s clearly nowhere near enough. And given the Conservatives are promising to plant only 30m trees, they’re even worse than the Lib Dems.
Your tree planting programme would offset around 1,306 tonnes of carbon a year if my maths is correct.
OR, to put it another way, 0.35% of the UK's total CO² emissions in 2017.
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— Steve Topple (@MrTopple) November 16, 2019
Still, the main issue is you cannot trust either party, especially on the environment.
For instance, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has taken money from a fracking boss:
"You took £14,000 in donations from the boss of a firm with fracking licences across the UK. Does that make you a hypocrite?"@joswinson defends the decision, saying she's “anti-fracking” and the owner's firm delivers 80% renewable energyhttps://t.co/itWoqHR0hH pic.twitter.com/qpPYiJfsj7
— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) June 27, 2019
In part of her response, Swinson said:
It makes no difference to me whatsoever… that he has a couple of licenses
Swinson has also supported fracking in parliament.
And the Conservatives have already essentially U-turned on their fracking ‘halt’. Boris Johnson has actually left the door open to more fracking in the future.
Green New Deal
By contrast, Labour is offering a Green lndustrial Revolution – to deliver nationwide clean energy, cut emissions and boost the economy. Labour’s conference motion had a net-zero emissions target of 2030. Speaking to The Canary, shadow energy and business minister Rebecca Long-Bailey said:
It’s not just about tackling climate change. We’re actually using it as an economic opportunity to invest now, in things that have been underinvested for decades and transform economic opportunities. So… we’re showing people that they can have an exciting future where their kids will have work in the high tech industries of the future… It’s about creating hope.
And what’s important is that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s record suggests he will deliver. Unlike the Conservatives and Lib Dems, Corbyn has received zero gifts or donations from the fossil fuel industry. He also voted for green solutions in 12 out of 13 parliamentary votes that the Guardian analysed.
Over in the US, congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed her support:
This is a huge deal: one of the first major political party adoptions of a #GreenNewDeal as an official policy plank.
Our future relies on whether our leaders choose to act now.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 24, 2019
We currently have disastrous flooding in Europe and wildfires in California and Australia as a result of oncoming climate catastrophe. Only the transformational programme on the scale Labour is offering can lead the world in stopping climate breakdown. To be frank, the Lib Dems are merely offering shiny policies to hoodwink voters that they give a shit.
Featured image via Liberal Democrats/Flickr
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