Green Book 2013

New directions – a summary

The Green Book: New Directions for Liberals in Government brought together 27 leading Liberal Democrats and sympathetic experts to propose radical and innovative new directions for the Liberal Democrats.

Published in 2013 The Green Book argued that a low carbon economy and environmental investments were the best way to escape from sluggish growth, to create new jobs and to share prosperity fairly.  It called upon Liberal Democrats to treat the environmental crisis as a core challenge of economic policy, rather than as a discrete problem.

Edited by Duncan Brack, Paul Burall, Neil Stockley and Mike Tuffrey, the book originated in discussions within the Liberal Sustainability Network.  It was made possible by a generous grant to cover publication costs from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.

At the time the authors said that The Green Book offered both a wake-up call and an agenda for action.  They said the threats from climate change and finite limits on natural resources were more serious and more urgent than most people acknowledge, but that green policies could put the country on a route to a modern sustainable economy and just society….

Ten years on, the argument has largely been won, at least in theory.  However action has proved slow and momentum for radical change remains weak.  Sadly many of the original ideas have yet to be adopted. 

So we offer the complete text of the original book, both as a source of practical ideas for today and as a record of thinking at the time.

You can download all the book and read the 31 chapters from here, by section. A full listing of contents and the biographies of individual chapter authors are set out below.

Green Book 2013 – Introduction

Liberalism, Environmentalism and Green Politics

Green Growth

The Choice – Energy Policy in a Changing Climate

Going Green has to be Fair

The Crisis of Environmental Multilateralism: A Liberal Response

The Green Book – Contents

Foreword by Nick Clegg MP



1. New Directions: Introduction to The Green BookDuncan Brack, Paul Burall, Neil Stockley and Mike Tuffrey
2. Green Story Time for the Liberal DemocratsNeil Stockley
3. Policy Proposals: Chapter Summaries
4. The Threats We FacePaul Burall
5. The Liberal RecordDuncan Brack
The Liberal Democrat approach
6. Liberalism, Environmentalism and Green PoliticsDavid Howarth
7. Setting Standards: Environmental Regulation as if Human Health MatteredMike Tuffrey
8. Green TaxesStephen Williams MP
9. Can Behaviour Change Make a Difference?Paul Burall
10. Embedding Sustainability in GovernmentSimon Wright MP
Green Growth
11. Building the Green EconomyChris Huhne
12. Driving Growth through Green InnovationDimitri Zenghelis
13. Supporting Innovation and JobsDr Patrick Sheehan and Shas Sheehan
14. Green and Growing: The Importance of CleantechJulian Huppert MP
15. Revitalising the Green Investment BankChristopher J. Wigley
16. Empowering a Shift to a More Circular EconomyBen Earl
17. A World Without Waste – Achieving a More Resource-Efficient CountrySusan Juned
Zero-Carbon Britain
18. The Choice – Energy Policy in a Changing ClimateTom Burke
19. Only ConnectFiona Hall MEP
20. A Liberal and Democratic Energy MarketDr Mark Hinnells
21. A Green Deal for TransportStephen Potter
22. Reducing Emissions from Transport: The Role of TaxationTim Leunig
People and Communities
23. Going Green has to be FairChris Huhne
24. Planning for Sustainability and Green GrowthPaul Burall and Kate Parminter
25. How to Save Our Cities from Economic CollapseDavid Boyle
26. Power to the People? The Case for Community-owned Renewable EnergySteve Bradley
27. Councils, Cities and Energy TransitionChristian Vassie
28. Community Policies for a Low-Carbon FutureLouise Bloom
29. Adapting to Climate ChangePaul Burall
Global Politics
30. The Crisis of Environmental Multilateralism: A Liberal ResponseRobert Falkner
31. Green Policies for Global Economic JusticeMyles Wickstead

Authors’ biographies at the time of publication

Louise Harris Bloom is Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainabilty at Eastleigh Borough Council in Hampshire – which, under her leadership, won Beacon Council status in 2008–09 for tackling climate change. She was a Greater London Assembly Member, 2000–02, and worked on the first London-wide waste strategy. Louise has been an environmental campaigner since the early 1980s, she says, long before it became popular or fashionable!

David Boyle is a former Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, and was a member of the party’s Federal Policy Committee 1998 to 2012. He is a fellow of the New Economics Foundation and the author of The Human Element: Ten new rules to kickstart our failing organisations (Earthscan, 2011).

Duncan Brack is an independent policy analyst and adviser, and an Associate of Chatham House and Green Alliance. From 2010 to 2012 he was a special adviser to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne. He is also Vice Chair of the Liberal Democrats’ Federal Policy Committee. In 2007, with Richard Grayson and David Howarth, he edited Reinventing the State: Social Liberalism for the 21st Century.

Steve Bradley is Chair of the Green Liberal Democrats and a councillor in the London Borough of Lambeth. He is involved with a variety of environmental organisations, including the Transition Towns movement, and is a passionate advocate of the concept of community ownership. Steve has a Masters Degree in Urban Regeneration, with a particular focus upon sustainable communities, and he also writes on sport, politics, history and the environment for a variety of publications.

Paul Burall is a freelance writer specialising in environmental issues. A former County and District Councillor, Paul has served as Vice Chair and a Policy Council member of the Town and Country Planning Association and a Board member of the East of England Development Agency.

Tom Burke is the Founding Director of E3G and Environmental Policy Advisor to Rio Tinto. He is a former Director of Friends of the Earth and the Green Alliance and was a special adviser to three Secretaries of State for the Environment. He is also a Visiting Professor at both Imperial and University Colleges, London.

Ben Earl worked on Liberal Democrat environmental policy in Parliament, and is now part of the CSR team at B&Q plc; working with staff, suppliers and government, he is helping to bring about a step-change in influencing consumers on green issues. He is a board member of Future Solent, promoting a low-carbon economy and sits on the CCG of South East Water, overseeing the new price review process. He writes here in a personal capacity.

Dr Robert Falkner is a Reader in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is an associate of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE and of the Energy, Environment and Development Programme at Chatham House. He has published widely on global environmental politics, including Business Power and Conflict in International Environmental Politics (2008) and Handbook of Global Climate and Environment Policy (2013).

Fiona Hall has been the Liberal Democrat MEP for the North East of England since 2004 and is the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament. As a member of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee, she has been the lead negotiator for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) on legislation concerning renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Dr Mark Hinnells has worked in energy policy since 1992, as an academic at the University of Oxford Environmental Change Institute, policy adviser to Defra and as project manager at the Energy Saving Trust. He is now Solutions Director of Susenco (the sustainable energy company). Over most of his career he has been closely involved with the development of Liberal Democrat thinking, and has serving on a range of policy working groups, as chair of the Green Liberal Democrats and on the party’s Federal Policy Committee.

David Howarth is Director of the M.Phil. in Public Policy and Reader in Law at the University of Cambridge, where he is also a Fellow of Clare College. He was previously MP for Cambridge, during which time he served as the Liberal Democrats’ Shadow Energy Minister and Shadow Justice Secretary.

Chris Huhne was MP for Eastleigh from 2005 to 2013 and was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change from 2010 to 2012.

Julian Huppert is the Member of Parliament for Cambridge. Before being elected to Parliament in 2010, Julian was a research scientist and a Cambridgeshire County Councillor. He had also set up a small biotech company, which won a DTI SMART award. Since entering Parliament, he has focused on science policy, green growth, transport, civil liberties and home affairs.

Dr Susan Juned is a director of Greenwatt Technology. In 2010 she was named a West Midlands Green Leader by Sustainability West Midlands. Her recent work has included dissemination advice for university research groups, resource management studies and low-carbon / renewable energy consultancy. She is Chair of Directors of the energy efficiency advice charity, Act on Energy, and helped to found the former BREW Centre for Local Authorities whilst working for NISP as their liaison officer.

Tim Leunig is an international-prize-winning academic economist who has advised the UK government and OECD on transport issues. He is currently on leave from the LSE to work for the Department for Education. This chapter was written when he was chief economist at CentreForum think tank and should not be seen as reflecting government policy.

Kate Parminter is the Defra spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, a trustee of IPPR, and a former Chief Executive of CPRE.

Stephen Potter is Professor of Transport Strategy in the Design Group at the Open University. His research includes work on the diffusion of cleaner vehicle technologies, low-carbon transport systems and more sustainable travel behaviour. He has also worked on research on factors influencing the adoption and use of domestic low-carbon products and systems and on the LCNF Project Falcon, exploring how to achieve effective user engagement in Smart Grid design and development. He has previously been a member of the Liberal Democrat Working Group on Transport Policy.

Dr Patrick Sheehan is a founding partner of Environmental Technologies Fund. He has worked in venture capital since 1985, was instrumental in founding 3i’s venture capital practice and was founding MD of its Silicon Valley business. Patrick has been Chair of the European Venture Capital Association’s Venture Capital Committee, and served on its Board and Executive Committee. He currently chairs its Environmental Task Force.

Shas Sheehan was the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Wimbledon in the 2010 general election, and a GLA candidate in 2012. She is a former councillor and Assistant Cabinet Member for Energy and Climate Change for the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames.

Neil Stockley is a director of a communications consultancy and a former Policy Director for the Liberal Democrats. He has been involved for some years in developing energy and climate change policy for the party and chaired the working group that produced Zero-Carbon Britain (2007). He also writes a blog about political narratives.

Mike Tuffrey has combined his public service career with working in business to help large companies adopt strategies for sustainable growth. After qualifying as a chartered accountant, he was director of a national charity before founding Corporate Citizenship, a management consultancy on responsible and sustainable business. In public life, he served as an inner city councillor and leader for twelve years, before spending the last decade elected to the London Assembly, where he was a member of the London Sustainable Development Commission.

Christian Vassie is editor of the Green Liberal Democrats’ Challenge magazine. He produces environmental films on the energy transition in cities across Europe for Energy Cities and the Covenant of Mayors. For eight years he was a city councillor in York, including two years on the ruling executive and seven years as the city’s Energy Champion. As well as directing films, Christian is a film and television composer, author, and designer, and has run his own production company for twenty-five years.

Myles Wickstead CBE is Visiting Professor of International Relations at the Open University and a special adviser to the House of Commons International Development Select Committee. He has a long history in international development and diplomacy, and represented the UK on the Board of the World Bank 1997–2000; was British Ambassador to Ethiopia, 2000–04; and Head of Secretariat to the Commission for Africa 2004–05.

Christopher J. Wigley has been a fixed income portfolio manager for more than twenty-five years, most recently at Epworth Investment Management. He is also a specialist in Sustainable Investment. In 2005, Chris stood as the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Wealden.

Stephen Williams was elected as Member of Parliament for Bristol West in 2005. He was appointed the chairman of the Liberal Democrat backbench committee for Treasury matters in 2010. He qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser and, before becoming an MP, he worked for several large firms, including PricewaterhouseCoopers and Grant Thornton.

Simon Wright was elected as the Member of Parliament for Norwich South in 2010. Soon after the election, he was appointed as the Liberal Democrat member of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee. A former teacher, Simon is currently the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Minister of State for Schools, David Laws.

Dimitri Zenghelis is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute at the LSE and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. He was recently Senior Economic Adviser to Cisco’s long-term innovation group. Previously, he headed the Stern Review Team at the Office of Climate Change, London, and was one of the authors of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, commissioned by the then Chancellor Gordon Brown. Before working on climate change, Dimitri was Head of Economic Forecasting at HM Treasury.