According to the Labour Party website the Labour Party will try to achieve the following if they retain power at the 2010 general election on May 6th:
We believe that the green agenda is fundamentally rooted in Labour values. Labour’s environment, energy and climate change policies are about securing fairness, creating jobs and building strong communities as well as tackling carbon emissions and improving the quality of life. By taking the action we need to tackle climate change and reduce waste we can drive economic growth, make Britain more energy independent, and make it easier for people to live in greener ways.
Labour came to power at a time when climate change was emerging as an important political issue. Six months after we took office, the Labour Government played a key role in securing a new international agreement at Kyoto. This signalled the beginning of a period in which Britain has become a world leader on tackling climate change globally and at home. Our 2008 Climate Change Act makes the UK the first country in the world to put its carbon targets into law – cutting emissions by a third (34 per cent) by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050 on 1990 levels. Our UK Low Carbon Transition Plan sets out a comprehensive strategy for reducing emissions right across the economy, with every government department given its own ‘carbon budget’.
With Labour our green policies have become a motor of economic prosperity. As firms invest in insulating people’s homes, renewable energy and nuclear power, and in new technologies such as electric vehicles, we will create around 400,000 new green jobs by 2015 – making 1.2 million British jobs in the environmental and low carbon sectors in all. The Government’s Low Carbon Industrial Strategy has set a framework for active industrial policy, with new firms such as wind turbine manufacturers now investing in Britain.
We continue to push for international agreement on action to tackle climate change; we are determined that the progress made at Copenhagen in December 2009 will ultimately result in the ambitious, effective and fair legally binding agreement on which we have led. We are spending £1.5 billion on climate assistance to developing countries between 2010 and 2012 and are committed to ensuring that from 2013 part of our climate assistance is additional to our pledge to provide 0.7 per cent of national income in aid, with no more than 10 per cent of our Official Development Assistance counted towards climate finance.
Labour believes that the beauty and biodiversity of Britain’s countryside and green spaces enrich the quality of our lives. Over the last thirteen years we have worked not only to protect our natural environment for future generations but to open up access for all. Through our two landmark Acts – the Countryside and Rights of Way Act and the Marine and Coastal Access Act – and the creation of two new National Parks in the New Forest and South Downs we have enabled millions of people to enjoy our countryside and coastal areas. We have supported rural business, and seen a steady improvement in rural public services; rural unemployment is below the national average. We are committed to spending £3.9 billion in the next Rural Development Programme in England, the major part of which will be devoted to agri-environment Environmental Stewardship schemes, improving the quality of our countryside for people and wildlife. By setting and exceeding our target for 60 per cent of new developments to be on brownfield land and by extending the area of Green Belt we have contributed both to the renaissance of our urban areas and to the protection of the countryside.
Rural communities are home to one million businesses, employing more than 5.5 million people with a combined turnover of more than £300 billion a year. Average incomes in rural areas are higher, and rural unemployment is lower. So are rural crime rates, while school results are better. But we need to make sure rural areas remain strong. That’s why we are making sure that high speed broadband will reach all of rural Britain, why we are building affordable homes and why we have supported post offices which are often the hub of the local community.
Labour remains committed to defending the welfare of animals, whether wild, domestic or on farms. We have legislated to ban cruel ‘sports’ such as fox hunting and hare coursing, toughened the sanctions against people who mistreat animals, and banned animal testing of cosmetics and barren cages for chickens, among other items. We will ensure that these measures are rigorously enforced, and extend and enhance them where necessary.
Labour Party Environment, Climate Change and Energy Policy :http://www.labour.org.uk/policies/environment
I would be interested to hear both positive and negative views on Labour’s Environment, Climate Change and Energy policies in the comments below?
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