Lib Dems vow to ‘seize economic opportunities of net zero now’

The Scottish Liberal Democrats would put tackling climate change “at the heart of a new industrial strategy”, deputy leader Wendy Chamberlain has announced.

During a visit to a green hydrogen start-up in Leith, Edinburgh, Ms Chamberlain said while other parties are abandoning their climate commitments, the Lib Dems will “seize the economic opportunities of net zero now”.

Her party will support science, research and innovation, she said, particularly among small businesses and start-ups with an interest in zero-carbon and environmental technologies, with the aim of investing at least 3% of GDP in research and development by 2030.

The Lib Dems will also invest in energy storage technologies, including in green hydrogen, pumped storage and battery capability.

Wendy Chamberlain, dressed in a black top, smiling at the camera
Wendy Chamberlain said the Scottish Liberal Democrats would put the climate emergency ‘at the heart of a new industrial strategy’ (Aaron Chown/PA)

Ms Chamberlain said: “The UK can lead the world with innovation and ingenuity. Liberal Democrats will put tackling the climate emergency at the heart of a new industrial strategy, cutting emissions and driving a strong economic recovery.

“Businesses and entrepreneurs should be supported to create clean, well-paid jobs in every part of Scotland.

“While other parties abandon their climate commitments, only the Scottish Liberal Democrats have a plan that can give businesses the certainty they need to invest in products and unlock their global potential.

“We need to seize the economic opportunities of net zero now. We simply can’t afford for the UK to be left behind on green skills and the industries of the future.”

As well as continuing to participate in Horizon Europe, an EU research and innovation fund, the party also plans to join the European Innovation Council, saying both schemes focus on hydrogen as a breakthrough technology.