“We want five green laws for a green Britain,” an interview with Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey MP (Part Two)
July 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
The Liberal Democrats clearly have a mountain to climb when it comes to next year’s General Election but one area where we do have a broadly positive tale to tell is that of the green agenda, but how well does that play with voters and what can we do-as activists and elected representatives-to help trumpet our message to the masses…I asked the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the Right Honourable Ed Davey MP, when I sat down with him as part of the Bloggers’ Interviews at the Social Liberal Forum Conference in London last weekend.
“I think we have to pick two or three things from what we’ve achieved and we have to have two or three measures for the future.”
“We can’t just talk about what we’ve achieved we have to have a vision for the future and vice-versa.”
“I think I would, probably ’cause I think because polls show that it’s popular, is wanting to talk about renewable electricity…cause we have a very, very good story to tell on that and, you know, people do like the idea of renewable electricity; people like on-shore wind, believe it or not; I think the Tories are wrong on that.
So, I would really talk about that, as a key achievement.
“There are quite a few others that mean a lot to people; part of the problem is some of the things we are doing are quite long-term, so although we’ve got the largest railway investment programme since the Victorians not many people have seen it because it’s going to happen over the next fifteen years.
So if you want to talk about records you’re going to want to talk about things that have actually been achieved.
So, after renewable electricity, which is now powerful and clear, we could talk about energy…we can say a million homes will have been insulated by the election.
I like to think if we can say we’ve brought the Climate Change Act through the rest of Europe, through this European deal, I think that would be quite a popular thing.
“You can talk about the Green Investment Bank, you can talk about what we’ve done on electric vehicles, but we need to be clear what we think will resonate most with the electorate.
Green jobs I think is a good thing but I think, people know renewable energy is somehow green, they understand that, you’ve got to think about what people hear, and we’ve done some polling on green jobs and they don’t quite get what a green job is.
“So, you’ve got to use language and use examples which people readily and immediately get, not the policy wonks in the Liberal Democrats…I might be one of those but I’ve got to talk to the electorate and, you know, we haven’t got much air-time so we need to pick on one or two things.”
Mr Davey then moved on to talk about the next set of challenges…and a big green liberal vision for the next Government.
“In terms of the future, the party’s got to have a debate about what it wants to do.
Again it’s about communicating. I think we should say at the next election we want five green laws for a green Britain; and those five green laws should be on nature, transport, waste, on energy efficiency and on de-carbonisation.
I think we need to show that we’ve got an agenda to really go forward.”
A bold vision for sure and one which, if communicated well, could win us back some of the much needed support that we’ve lost over the past four years.
ON SUNDAY: My interview with Party President Tim Farron MP!