CAFOD: How will you tackle poverty and climate change?

Like you I am incredibly grateful for the sterling work CAFOD do to help the most vulnerable abroad. I am pleased that CAFOD has worked with the Government to deliver some of our aid programmes abroad. 2015 offers us a significant opportunity to agree new international goals to tackle climate change and poverty. I’m determined we grab this opportunity to protect our environment and ensure no one is left behind.
I believe we have a duty to help the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they live in the world. I am proud that the Liberal Democrats have such a strong record of helping those in need. It is only thanks to the Liberal Democrats in Government that the UK became the first G8 country to meet the 40 year old promise to spend 0.7% of our national income on international aid.
It was my Liberal Democrat colleague, Michael Moore, who put forward the successful bill to enshrine in law our promise on development aid. UK aid prevents 3 million people from falling into poverty each year; has vaccinated 55 million children against preventable diseases and stopped 250,000 new-born babies dying needlessly. It has helped more people access anti-AIDS drugs and sent over 10 million children to school last year. Unlike some other parties, I am determined to ensure that we don’t go back on this commitment because doing so would cost lives.
Tackling climate change and environmental degradation, and eradicating poverty are two sides of the same coin. The poorest are hit first and hardest by climate change. Our support will help the most vulnerable to adapt and also protect our planet.
Liberal Democrats are also committed to protecting the environment and fighting climate change. Since 2010 UK carbon emissions have fallen and the amount of energy coming from renewable energy has more than doubled. Lib Dem Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey was instrumental in securing an ambitious EU-wide climate change deal last year. This will help us push for a universal commitment to tackle climate change.
2015 is a significant year for international development and tackling climate change. In September the UN will agree a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to replace the Millennium Development Goals and in December UN members will agree a legally binding climate change agreement. I was disappointed to see Conservative MEPS voting against the EU supporting the SDGs. However I am determined we seize this opportunity to protect the most vulnerable and our planet.
I want the SDGs to put poverty eradication and sustainable development at their core. Liberal Democrats want to ensure that environmental sustainability and tackling climate change are fully integrated into all the relevant SDGs. We also want them to include a specific goal around gender equality, which should contain specific targets around early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation. I am proud these are both areas Liberal Democrat Ministers have been working hard to address internationally and in the UK.
​General position on Climate Change

Liberal Democrats have been campaigning against climate change for longer than any other political party. It’s in our DNA. Despite Conservative attempts to block our green policies, we have ensured this Government has been the greenest ever. Energy use is falling, helping to keep bills down. Investment in renewables has more than doubled, and as a nation we’re using twice as much renewable electricity. Competition in the energy market has never been greater, with new independent suppliers offering cheaper prices and better service. Lib Dems have led the way internationally too. Lib Dem Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change Ed Davey spearheaded the UK push to persuade the EU to set an ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030.
In the next Parliament we will prioritise saving energy, with council tax discounts for insulating your home and energy efficiency help for low income families with high fuel costs. We will carry on greening our electricity, getting rid of coal generation by 2025 and setting an ambitious power sector “decarbonisation” target. We will grow the green economy of the future with smart investment. And we will do this while keeping energy bills down. And on these plans Ed Davey said:-
“The Lib Dems are the only party to have nailed their green credentials to the mast, and set out how this radical agenda will be delivered in a way that is both credible and affordable.”
And having campaigned with Ed a few years ago and seen him discuss energy policy on one doorstep for over half hour on a freeze cold February evening I know it is a subject he is very passionate about. In the next parliament there are a number of environmental policies that the Liberal Democrats plan to introduce that I am keen to support these are:-

I hope this answers your question.