Welsh Lib Dems will fight climate crisis "tooth and nail" amid Welsh Labour & UK Conservative Failures

19 Jun 2024
Offshore wind turbines

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS has today unveiled her party’s plans to fight the climate crisis "tooth and nail" by driving down emissions, making homes warmer and creating a wealth of green jobs, as she accused both the Welsh Labour Government and UK Conservative Government of making “abysmal” progress on meeting Wales’s climate targets.  

The commitment comes ahead of the Welsh Liberal Democrats releasing their full manifesto on Monday.

Last summer a major report by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) said work to cut emissions had been too slow in areas devolved to Cardiff Bay. The report highlighted that Wales was not moving quickly enough to develop the charging infrastructure needed for electric vehicles as one of the primary areas of concern.  

Previous information requested by the Welsh Liberal Democrats and backed up by the Bevan Foundation also showed the Welsh Labour Government making extremely slow progress on home insulation, with their estimates showing it would take a minimum of 120 years to insulate every fuel-poor home in Wales and could take 360 years thanks to the rise in fuel poverty due to energy price increases.

Meanwhile, the Party claims that the Conservative UK Government has also failed to make the investment necessary to tackle the climate crisis and is pandering to those that deny climate change in a desperate attempt to cling to power. The party also criticised the slow progress on the rollout of renewables from the Conservatives, which they state is keeping the UK reliant on fossil fuels from dictatorships like Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Welsh Liberal Democrat plans would:

  • Make homes warmer and cheaper to heat with a ten-year emergency upgrade programme starting with free insulation and heat pumps for those on low incomes;
  • Drive a rooftop solar revolution by expanding incentives for households to install solar panels;
  • Invest in renewable power so that 90% of the UK’s electricity is generated from renewables by 2030;
  • Make it cheaper and easier for drivers to switch to electric vehicles by rapidly rolling out far more charging points, reintroducing the plug-in car grant, and restoring the requirement that every new car and small van sold from 2030 is zero-emission;
  • Introducing a new "super tax" on private jet flights
  • Helping people with the cost of living and their energy bills by implementing a proper, one-off windfall tax on the super-profits of oil and gas producers and traders.
  • Maintaining the ban on fracking and introducing a ban on new coal mines.
  • Guaranteeing that community benefit funds receive a fair share of the wealth generated by local renewables infrastructure.
  • Return international development spending to 0.7% of national income, with tackling climate change a key priority for development spending.

Commenting Jane Dodds MS said:

“Both the Welsh Labour Government and UK Conservative Government have been letting future generations down when it comes to tackling the climate crisis.

Welsh Labour Ministers often talk the talk on climate, but their actions don’t match up. Under their watch, we’ve seen extraordinarily slow insulation rates and cuts to bus routes alongside warnings from the CCC.

At a UK level, we have seen Keir Starmer U-turn on his climate commitments even before he has come to power.

Meanwhile the UK Conservative Government has totally failed to act with anything close to the speed or ambition these challenges demand and has left us reliant on fossil fuels from dictatorships like Russia and Saudia Arabia which has exacerbated the cost-of-living crisis so much in Welsh communities.

Warm words simply don't cut it. That’s why Welsh Liberal Democrats would launch a national insulation programme to support households in the transition to net zero and reduce bills for everyone. We would step up investment in renewables, make it cheaper and easier for drivers to switch to electric vehicles and restore the UK’s role as a global leader on climate change.

My party will fight the climate crisis tooth and nail. We will deliver the bold, urgent action needed to drive down emissions, cut energy bills and create hundreds of thousands of well-paid green jobs with a focus on creating jobs in those communities that were impacted the hardest by the loss of coal mining and heavy industry in the previous few decades.”

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