New Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has reiterated his party’s commitment to renewable energy and appointed Baroness Susan Kramer to his ‘Parliamentary Campaigns Team’ for the green economy.
In a statement issued last Friday, Farron who was elected to replace Nick Clegg as party leader last month, included green energy as one of seven “core issues” he wanted the Lib Dems to “stand out on and take a lead on” as the party looks to recover from a significant defeat in May’s general election.
The Lib Dems won just eight seats, lost 49 and saw a 15.2% downward swing in votes in comparison to the 2010 vote, prompting Clegg’s resignation.
“Sensible, liberal and evidence-based views are already being woefully ignored by the Tory government – so it’s up to Liberal Democrats to make this case.
“Whether it’s investing in green energy, building the homes we need; understanding the plight of refugees, or ensuring the state can’t snoop on our emails, my party will offer that liberal alternative,” Farron said.
Farron also last week said that the Liberal Democrats would “fight tooth and nail” against “short sighted, ideological cuts” to renewable energy subsidies that the party had helped introduce during the coalition government.
“David Cameron is insistent on setting about dismantling the Coalition's green legacy. Our own Prime Minister seems intent on rolling back the green agenda championed by Liberal Democrats in Coalition and it reflects his arrogant and lackadaisical attitude to climate change,” he said.
Baroness Kramer will lead the party on green issues and has a strong track record in the environment. The former MP for Richmond Park lauded sustainable transport schemes during her time at the Department for Transport and is a patron of the Environment Trust.
Farron’s announcement came as opposition parties in the UK rounded upon the Conservative government’s stance on renewables since cutting nine subsidy and support mechanisms in the three months the party has held office since winning a majority in May’s election.
The Scottish National Party has been forthright in its criticism of cuts to onshore wind, claiming the move would take thousands of jobs and millions of pounds from the Scottish economy, while the favourite to succeed Ed Miliband as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn last week said he wanted as much solar installed on UK rooftops as possible.