The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to join the EU Emission Trading Scheme as part of a package of policies to “build a green recovery and tackle the climate emergency.”
The proposal, agreed as part of the Green Recovery motion at the Party’s Autumn conference, come as talks between the EU and the UK on a free trade agreement failed to make progress with environmental standards cited as a major stumbling block.
Liberal Democrat Climate Action Spokesperson Sarah Olney has warned Conservative Ministers struggling to cut deals with the EU are “risking that recovery and abandoning the duty on all of us to tackle the climate emergency.”
The Liberal Democrats are arguing that the UK should open talks to secure post-Brexit entry to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the European Union’s climate change policy tool to help industries cut their CO2 emissions in a cost-effective way.
Other proposals agreed by the Liberal Democrats include a legally binding commitment to reduce emissions tied into coronavirus related support packages and major investment to encourage active travel through walking and cycling, which recent official figures show has stagnated.
Liberal Democrat Climate Action Spokesperson Sarah Olney said: “As we look at how we create jobs and get our economy moving following the pandemic, the Government must take a climate-first approach.
“With Conservative Ministers struggling to cut deals with the EU, they are risking that recovery and abandoning the duty on all of us to tackle the climate emergency.
“People and the planet deserve better. Liberal Democrats are unequivocally clear that reducing emissions must be a cornerstone for both business and government.
“That means radical action from investing in active travel to putting aside party politics and working with our closest international partners to build a green recovery and tackle the climate emergency.”