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Lib Dem leader calls for ‘new industrial revolution’ led by green technology

The UK should enter a “new industrial revolution” led by a widespread focus on green technologies according to leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron.

He also urged the Prime Minister, Theresa May, not to pander to climate change scepticism from Donald Trump who has previously called it a Chinese hoax and could pull out of the Paris Agreement at any time according to a member of the President’s EPA transition team leading up to his appointment.

In a Westminster speech today, Farron will urge the Prime Minister to create another “Victorian”-style era of building, focused on tackling climate change.

He will call for a “sweeping programme of investment and reform on a level never seen before”, stressing that the Lib Dems want to see a zero-carbon Britain by 2050, a more ambitious target than the current legal requirement to reduce emissions by 80 per cent.

“The low-carbon and no-carbon economy will be underpinned and driven by industries which will be worth trillions globally in the next few decades,” he will say.

“It is a new industrial revolution. We can do as the Victorians did and lead it, prosper from it, and stand tall across the globe as a consequence.

“Or we can look down our noses at it and be surpassed and relegated.”

Tim Farron - leader of the Liberal Democrats

On Trump, he will say: “The consensus (on climate change) is unravelling. We have a climate change denier in the White House; which provides a reason or an excuse for other countries to backslide a little too.

“We have a Tory Government that went from hugging huskies to dismissing intelligent environmental policies as ‘green crap’, and a Labour Party that has no coherent vision for the environment, industry or the economy.

“The Prime Minister choosing to pander to President Trump hardly makes us any more optimistic that her next choices on climate change will be wisdom over transparent political short-termism.”

Farron will say the Lib Dems are committed to limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5C rather than 2C and the party is enlisting experts to create a plan for a zero-carbon UK.

“It will focus not just on energy sources, but on how all businesses can be sustainable and help meet our targets,” he will say.

“Reforming agriculture and land-use. Boosting natural protections such as peat and forestry. Electrifying transport and getting rid of diesel.

“Developing smart technology and advancing the circular economy. Addressing the need for change in our homes and heating. And using the financial sector to promote clean industry, including through better disclosure of climate risk.”

Yesterday, an independent report claimed that Britain's power networks will need to operate more flexibly in the future in order to make intermittent renewable sources like wind and solar cost-effective.  

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