This post is by Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the climate emergency, business & energy and transport
I recently visited Dose of Nature, a charity in Kew established to promote the mental and physical health benefits of engaging with the natural world. Through educative activities and hands on experience, the charity’s work feeds into popular narratives of natural settings as places of refuge and comfort in times of psychological distress that can inspire wonder, serenity and peace.
After an initial decision to delay the Liberal Democrat leadership election for a year due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the party decided to go ahead with the contest under lockdown conditions. Since the party’s spokesperson for the climate emergency, Wera Hobhouse, MP pulled out, it has been a two horse race between the education spokesperson Layla Moran MP and the acting co-leader Sir Ed Davey MP. Read more
This post also appears in the current edition of Utility Week.
I was having dinner with a former US colleague when I realised how far UK leadership on the environment had weakened. I used to feel pity for US environmentalists, and now I felt a twinge of envy. She described the meticulous preparation of the Obama’s team before its recent announcements on climate change, the rallying of movers and shakers to back up the White House push, and I was reminded of how effective political leadership could be in forging a new policy direction. It seemed impossible a year ago that the US would give up on its high carbon ways and now it seems normal that it is regulating against new coal power plants, the biggest point source of carbon. Read more
Green Alliance associate Duncan Brack, introduces our recently published collection of essays, Green liberalism: a local approach to the low carbon economy. There are similar collections under ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green conservatism’ projects as part of Green Alliance’s Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This piece has also been posted on Liberal Democrat Voice.
This collection of essays builds on two Liberal Democrat core beliefs: environmentalism and localism.
As David Howarth argued in The green book: new directions for Liberals in government (Biteback, March 2013), liberalism is not only compatible with environmentalism, it requires an environmental approach. In the UK, the Liberal Party, and then the Liberal Democrats, have consistently shown themselves to be the greenest of the three major political parties. Read more