Labour and Lib Dems launch green manifestos

By staff

The Labour and Liberal Democrat parties today launched their respective green manifestos.

They will vie to convince the public that each party is best placed to produce a low-carbon economy.

The Liberal Democrats said they will deliver big cuts in emissions from transport, heating, agriculture and industry.

Labour said the it will create 5,0000 apprentices in low-carbon industries.

Launching the party’s manifesto alongside Gordon Brown in east London, climate change minister Ed Miliband said: “The first-time voters of today will be the ones who will live with the consequences of all of our decisions for years to come.

“Tackling climate change isn’t just about avoiding disaster but also ensuring we have a prosperous future and a fair one.

“That’s why I am proud of Labour’s green manifesto. It embodies our values, creating jobs for young people, protecting the vulnerable, standing up for the many and enshrining our commitment to fairness now and in the future.”

The manifesto says: “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.”

The Lib Dems manifesto will pledge £100 million in training and testing facilities at Universities to help develop green energy techniques,  and to support the creation of an off-shore wind turbine manufacturing industry, to be located near North and Irish Sea ports.

The party said its programme, which also includes a scheme on house and public building insulationwould receive £3.1bn from other spending programmes in the first year, and income from a tax on planes in future years.

Party Leader Nick Clegg has said of the plan: “Expanding off-shore wind will create jobs but unless we act now, these jobs won’t be British jobs. It’s a scandal that 90% of the £1.75 billion contract for a wind farm off the coast of Kent is going to foreign contractors, with the turbines being manufactured in Germany.”

“Investing in infrastructure for a new green economy not only helps create jobs now but will allow Britain to take its place at the cutting edge of this growing industrial sector for the future.”