Lib Dem manifesto says they oppose any new SE runway (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted or Estuary)
The Lib Dem manifesto states that they will: “Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. We will carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK.” However, when questioned by Eddie Mair on PM, on what the party would do in coalition – if the lead partner wanted a runway – Danny Alexander wriggled and said the party would look carefully if there was any “compelling new evidence” produced. He would not confirm the Lib Dems would stick to their new runway policy, if required to drop it in coalition. The manifesto says their Zero Carbon Britain Act will include: “A new legally-binding target for Zero Carbon Britain by 2050, to be monitored and audited by the Climate Change Committee (CCC). The Climate Change Act 2008 established an aim to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 based on the 1990 baseline.”
“Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. We will carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK.”
“Liberal Democrats will put the environment at the heart of government policy. We will pass five green laws to establish a permanent legal framework for a prosperous, sustainable economy”
“Five green laws will be on the statute books, protecting nature and wildlife in Britain and across the world, cleaning up our air and helping fight climate change.”
“In 2020 Britain will be a force for good in the world, leading global action against climate change, tax avoidance and international crime, working to prevent conflict and offer humanitarian aid, and promoting trade, development and prosperity.”
“Place the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) on the same statutory footing as the Committee on Climate Change through our Nature Act.”
“We will improve the way government handles the cross-cutting challenges of delivering green growth and fighting climate change, establishing a senior Cabinet Committee to coordinate action and bringing together officials in inter-departmental units on issues like air quality and resource management. We will replicate the success of the Office for Budget Responsibility with an Office for Environmental Responsibility scrutinising the government’s efforts to meet its environmental targets.”
One of their 5 green laws will be:
A Zero Carbon Britain Act which will include:
– “A new legally-binding target for Zero Carbon Britain by 2050, to be monitored and audited by the Climate Change Committee (CCC). The Climate Change Act 2008 established an aim to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 based on the 1990 baseline. – 2030 power sector decarbonisation target of 50-100g per kWh, as recommended by the CCC.
– Emission Performance Standards for existing coal power stations, designed to ensure electricity generation from unabated coal will stop by 2025.
– Giving full borrowing powers to the Green Investment Bank, to boost further investment in low carbon technologies. ”
“Challenges like climate change and deforestation are too massive for individual countries to tackle alone.
– Continue pushing for a 50% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and the greater use of EU funds to support low-carbon investments, while ensuring the UK meets its own climate commitments and plays a leadership role in efforts to combat climate change. – – Work to secure agreement on a global climate treaty at the 2015 UN Climate Conference, supported by a well-financed Green Climate Fund to assist poorer countries to tackle and adapt to climate change.
….. ” and it continues …
Liberal Democrat manifesto at
Verbatim transcript of Danny Alexander interview by Eddie Mair on Radio 4 PM Programme on 15.4.2015
On runways. Eddie Mair asked about their policy on runways.
They are not saying before the election, waiting for the Davies Commission. They have declared their opposition to any expansion at Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick or a new estuary airport.
Eddie Mair: [On the runway issue]. “What on earth will you do?”
Danny Alexander: “We will see what Howard Davies recommends and if there is compelling new evidence then we would obviously have a discussion about that, at our party conference, and our party conference took a very strong view just a few months back that we didn’t support new runways. I was one of those who made the argument that there’s a case for it provided the environmental tests are met. But it would only be if Howard Davies came up with compelling new evidence that we could look at that again. The position set out in our manifesto is our party’s policy which is that we don’t favour that and of course we also say that we would look Sir Howard Davies’s Commission precisely because if it does come up with some compelling new arguments that haven’t been heard before, then as a responsible party we would want to have a debate internally about those and see if that leads us to a different view.”
Eddie Mair: “Would you support in government a party thah wanted to build a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick?”
Danny Alexander: “As you will remember, in coalition agreement of 2010 there were various areas of policy where we reserved our position to abstain or to vote against …”
Eddie Mair: “People will now want to know where you stand, so that is why I am asking.”
Danny Alexander. “Where we stand is just what I have said. It is set out in our manifesto and people will have to make a judgement about the policies of each party and I think it is right that Liberal Democrats, just like Labour and the Conservatives… ” etc …. and it continues …
Eddie Mair: “But you are not telling me what you would do in a coaliton.”
Danny Alexander: “I am not pre-negotiating a coalition now any more than …..” and it continues ….
Eddie Mair: “It could go the way of tuition fees, is what you are saying …”
Danny Alexander: .… ” the more Liberal Democrat MPs there are the more opportunity we will have to deliver these policies.” ….. and it continues.
PM programme. Section on runways starts 14:40 into the programme