The Liberal Democrats are hitting headlines for policies such as promising a secondary referendum on leaving the EU, legalising marijuana and extending the right to vote to those aged 16 and over.

Cedrec is more concerned with environmental, safety and planning policies, however, so let's get to it!

Environment and Energy

The Liberal Democrats have quite the extensive section on environmental policies.

They aim to ban the sale of new diesel cars by 2025, and in general phase out diesel vehicles with a diesel scrappage scheme.

The Lib Dems seek to extend the Ultra Low Emission Zones to ten more towns and cities.

Legislation will be heading our way with a Lib Dem Government, with the introduction of the Zero Carbon Britain Act, which uses two targets: 80% reduction of greenhouse gases by 2040 and 100% reduction by 2050. It may be worth acknowledging that a proposed target of 100% is also set under the Carbon Emission Reductions Bill, however, it is good to see that the Lib Dems would introduce their own legislation to ensure that target is still adhered to.

An ambitious target of 60% of electricity coming from renewables by 2030 is the next policy of note. The Lib Dems plan to invest in expanding clean energy generation and developing infrastructure to support a bigger renewable industry.

Taking inspiration from the plastic bag charge, the Lib Dems wish to introduce a 5p charge on disposable cups from coffee shops and other vendors. This charge will of course generate a healthy amount of income whilst also encouraging waste reduction.

Safety

It appears the Liberal Democrats have not addressed Health and Safety in their manifesto.

Planning

House building is a key part of the communities section in this manifesto. The Lib Dems aim for 300,000 houses to be built a year. In the environment section, they state they want every home in England to reach at least EPC Band C by 2035.

The Liberal Democrats want to set up a £2 billion Rural Services Fund, which will enable communities to establish a local base from which to co-locate services such as post offices, libraries, visiting healthcare professionals and children's centres.

Ten new Garden Cities will be introduced in England. The locations have not been indicated.

Transport is also on the agenda, with plans to reopen smaller rail stations, proceed with HS2, HS3 and Crossrail 2, with “development of a high speed network stretching to Scotland”.

Conclusion

Very full and ambitious on the environmental side of things, with several positive policies on the planning side too. The energy targets of 60% from renewables by 2035  is very ambitious. Similarly, the “long-term” goal of every house in England being Band C for energy efficiency by 2035 is very interesting. It would be wonderful to have so many energy efficient homes and would help greatly against fuel poverty, but can it be done?

The 5p cup charge sounds a good idea, but will it be as effective as the bag charge? The potential income will go some way to helping pay for the investments the Liberals are planning, but only time will tell if such a charge will have an impact on waste reduction.

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