Climate change Demands Action and Not Words

What we do as an individual and what we do as a City can have a major impact on our local environment. Both the Council and the people of Liverpool need to do more to safeguard our envronment and contribute to the global action on climate change.

One of the most important issues facing our City, our Country and the World is the question of climate change. I don’t know about you but I have been tremendously encouraged by the leadership being set by Joe Biden since he became President of the USA. Even the curmudgeonly UK Prime Minister Johnson has had to follow in his footsteps.

It would be easy to think that because the global politicians are now belatedly coming to action before the COP meeting in Scotland later this year that we can sit back and watch it happen. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all must take positive actions to reduce climate change both as individuals and as a City. To my mind one of the problems of having to respond quickly to the internal problems of the Council has meant that we have been unable to look properly at the long needs of the climate problems.

Liverpool’s track record is not good. Poor recycling rates; illegal levels of air pollution; cycle lanes slapped up without due consideration of where cyclists want to go; bus lanes chopped; new traffic schemes that will drive people onto cars and fuel pollution. There is much that Liverpool needs to do quickly.

There is also much that it needs to do in the long term. We held two council meetings in September 2020 and January 2021 when the Lib Dems tried to set out a new path for Liverpool post-Brexit and post-Covid. On both occasions Labour voted against our motions with no coherent explanation as to why.

We need to review our City Plan which sets out our short, medium, and long-term proposals for the City. We then need to review the Local Development Framework which establishes the land uses and transport patterns needed to deliver that plan.

We look at the environment in some detail in our manifesto for the elections. You can see environment concerns running through the manifesto not only in a clear environment section but also in the sections about transports and parks which have huge environmental possibilities or threats.

You can access the manifesto here:

Too much of what the Council has been doing is empty rhetoric on this issue. We solemnly declared a climate change emergency then took six months to establish a committee and work streams. To this day some 2 years later the Council has failed to call a meeting of one of these work streams. The Labour Cabinet Member appointed, Laura Robertson-Collins, has resigned in disgust about the Lime Street road change works.

As always we have set out a clear manifesto for change in this and others areas. You can see the key points which we would be delighted to discuss with you. As always, my email address is

Our Overriding Principle:

Liverpool is a major global city and as such has a duty and need to address climate change.

Our Overriding Policy:

To work with our partners in Liverpool, with other Council and City regions and their partners on a series of long term and sustainable solutions to address and limit the effects of climate change.


With predicted average global temperature increases of 1.5°C, changes in rainfall patterns (warmer wetter winters), rise in sea levels and loss of biodiversity. Recent reports suggest that we have only 12 years in which to make dramatic changes to reduce our carbon emissions and 2 years to reverse the current decline in biodiversity loss.

Our Six to Fix:

  1. We will encourage and support renewable electricity generation, through onshore and offshore wind farms and a sensitively designed Mersey Power Generation.
  2. We will invest in an active travel infrastructure and quality well connected public transport. Including the creation of segregated cycle paths, well maintained footpaths/pavements and pedestrian crossings.
  3. We will support electric vehicles by installation of publicly accessible on-street charging points (specifically for terrace housing areas). Ensure all council vehicles where possible are electric.
  4. We will help improve existing properties energy efficiency with insulation, either by assisting energy companies in identifying fuel poor or vulnerable households or retrofitting council-owned properties. Enforce minimum energy efficiency standards in the private rental sector.
  5. We will monitor air pollution across the city and plant more trees and plants with a wide variety of species including flowering plant) both on parkland and in urban areas, being innovative with where plants can be grown such as bus stop roof tops, grass verges etc. Introduce phased (or smart) traffic lights to improve traffic flow efficiency and improve air pollution. Our aim will be to become a bee friendly city. Our mission is to create habitats for honey bees and all pollinators to thrive.
  • We will introduce more curb side recycling, including kitchen and food waste linking this if feasible into biogas production. Regarding plastic waste support a refund system for returning plastic bottles to retailers, install free public, water fountains.

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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