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Yesterday’s launch of the Liberal Democrat manifesto brings to three the total number now in the public domain (read our views on the Green Party here, and on Plaid Cymru here).

Alongside some useful measures to support the implementation of domestic energy efficiency measures, including in the private rented sector, the Liberal Democrats have made legislative scrutiny of carbon impacts a component of their manifesto commitments. The headline points are:

  • Enshrine renewable energy and greenhouse gas targets in law, including a commitment to generate all electricity from renewable sources by 2025
  • Presumption in favour of development for community energy projects – something that RenewableUK Cymru has  previously proposed
Screenshot (16)

William Powell, candidate for mid and west Wales, at a climate change rally earlier this year

The smaller print includes a long list of policy proposals such as:

  • Publish a carbon budget alongside the economic budget every year
  • Add a carbon impact assessment to all new Welsh legislation
  • Interlace climate impact and education policies to support the delivery of behaviour change through education
  • Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with a 50% reduction (from 1990 baseline) by 2020
  • A 50% decrease in energy used for heating and electricity by 2030
  • Promotion of Marine Energy Hubs
  • A greater focus on offshore wind and floating turbines
  • An update of TAN8 and consideration of minimising the impact of wind energy on the landscape through the use of latest technology and innovation
  • Public support for research into electrical storage technology
  • Implementing a moratorium on fracking
  • A wide raft of measures to support community energy

Commenting on the manifesto, David Clubb said:

“The Liberal Democrats have consistently been strong on the environment and energy, and this is a solid set of policy proposals which contain the most ambitious renewable energy targets from any political party so far. I particularly like the idea of embedding a carbon impact assessment to all new Welsh legislation as a way of supporting the sort of cross-sectoral thinking which will be a requirement under the Act for the Well-Being of Future Generations.

“However I’m a little puzzled by the comments about minimising the visual impact of wind turbines; whilst nobody advocates visual impact for the sake of it, onshore wind is cost-effective and necessary. We should be proud to see turbines on the landscape as a testament to our desire to leave a better planet – and a better Wales – to future generations.”