Labour Party expands on environmental policy in its Green Plan following launch of General Election manifesto last week
The UK’s most deprived communities “live on the most polluted roadsâ€? according to the Labour Party, which today published its Green Plan for environmental policy ahead of the General Election.
Nevertheless “everyone feels the loss of clean airâ€?, Labour said in its Green Plan, which expands on environmental policy put forward in Labour’s 2015 manifesto published last week (see AirQualityNews.com story).
The Party’s manifesto pledged a national low emission zones framework and pledged £30 billion funding to boost devolution of power to city and county regions, and Labour again reiterated its pledge to “improve the quality of the air we breatheâ€? by giving local authorities “the power, as well as the responsibility to tackle air pollutionâ€?.
Following on from Defra’s hearing in the Supreme Court on UK air quality last week (see AirQualityNews.com story), Labour said it would work with local authorities “to develop a strategy to meet EU targets on air quality in the shortest possible timeâ€?.
The Green Plan states: “Labour’s plans to bring nature closer to people and to reduce harmful air pollution will ensure our towns and cities to become safer and more beautiful places to live in.â€?
And, on EU membership and the Clean Air Package of legislation currently being discussed in Europe, Labour said: “Instead of flirting with exit from the European Union, Labour will lead the push for environmental action in Europe and defend important directives that provide Britain with clean air, clean beaches and wildlife protection.â€?
Labour also said it would not allow shale gas exploration on National Parks and in protected areas, but reiterates the Party’s pledge to set a legally-binding target to decarbonise electricity supply by 2030 as well as developing an active green industrial strategy to create one million new green jobs.
According to the Green Plan, Labour’s mooted decarbonisation target will mean that “most new generation through the 2020s will be low carbonâ€?.
The document also seeks to highlight the previous Labour government’s environmental achievements, lauding the 2008 Climate Change Act to reduce carbon emissions as well as the doubling of renewable energy generation under its administration.
Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “Building a more equal society means tackling climate change and protecting nature. The aims we have championed throughout our history – from decent living standards for working people, to care for the vulnerable, and a route out of poverty for those in the developing world, are all at risk from spiralling global temperatures.â€?
Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, said: “Every radical, reforming Labour Government has extended public access to nature and safeguarded our environment for future generations to cherish and enjoy. With this plan, we aspire to do the same.â€?
She added: “The next Labour government will develop a 25 year plan for the recovery of nature, protect the public forest estate and bring nature closer to people by planting new woodland and trees closer to where people live.â€?