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Lib Dems promise to invest £15bn in home insulation improvements

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The Liberal Democrats have made a pledge to invest billions over the next parliament in insulating homes in an effort to tackle climate change and fuel poverty.

The money could be spent on insulation, double-glazing and more effective and modern heating systems for 26 million homes by 2030, saving the average household £550 a year on energy bills, the party claimed. The scheme would prioritise lower-income households, providing fully subsidised insulation to those in fuel poverty, while offering financial incentives to other households to upgrade their homes.

Heating buildings is a relatively inefficient process with much thermal energy being lost to the surroundings. Cutting down the amount of energy used to heat buildings is considered important in cutting carbon emissions and mitigating climate change. Heat loss can be minimised by thoroughly insulating buildings, such as with double glazing (creating an insulating air gap between two panes of glass).

“The climate crisis is doing irreversible damage to our planet,” said Wera Hobhouse, the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the environment and climate change. “The Liberal Democrats are committed to climate action now so we can protect our planet for future generations.”

Hobhouse criticised the ruling Conservative Party for effectively ‘banning’ onshore wind by limiting government subsidies, as well as for rejecting a ‘green deal’ and cutting support for other renewable energy projects. The Liberal Democrats have promised to double solar and wind power by 2030, increasing the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources to 80 per cent.

“We would raise efficiency standards of every home and more than double the amount of electricity we generate from renewables,” she said.

The green pledge is likely to be one of many tossed into the ring by political parties in the run-up to the General Election, with climate change considered a top issue for many voters. A poll commissioned by anti-racism group Hope Not Hate found that the climate emergency is considered the most important issue facing the world in seven of the eight countries polled.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a temporary ban on fracking in the UK (the controversial extraction of shale gas from the ground using huge quantities of water). Meanwhile, the Labour Party has promised a ‘green industrial revolution’, which will include at least 37 new offshore wind farms, and £60bn made available to install loft insulation, double glazing and low-carbon technologies in every home by 2030.

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