Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has issued a sharply worded attack on the UK government’s green agenda, warning the government is backsliding on its climate commitments and calling for urgent action to spur green growth. Farron, who was speaking this morning at the London offices of the think tank Policy Exchange, accused the government of failing to “see the business opportunity of investing in a low carbon economy” and called on the UK to lead the low-carbon transition by embracing a new era of Victorian-style infrastructure investment. The Lib Dem leader said his party are putting together a plan to show how such emissions reductions can be achieved – dubbed the Liberal Democrat roadmap to a Zero Carbon Britain. The strategy will include reform of agriculture and land use, increasing protections of natural forestry and peat, electrifying the transport industry and phasing out diesel cars, boosting clean heating and supporting better climate risk disclosure in the financial industry, he said. Farron also backed plans for the UK’s first tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, and said his party would commit to a “whole programme of tidal lagoons”, with up to 10 being constructed over the next two decades. The government is currently considering whether to press ahead with the Swansea tidal project, after a government review into tidal energy led by former energy minister Charles Hendry backed the scheme last month.
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