Liberal Democrats have voted to support the building of a new generation of nuclear power plants – a policy U-turn which marks an important victory for the Party’s leadership.
Party members at the Glasgow conference voted 230 to 183 to support nuclear power in “limited” circumstances.
Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey earlier warned the Party not backing nuclear would be “reckless”.
He said he had changed his mind because of climate change.
Mr Davey said climate change posed a real and massive danger to the planet and warned Liberal Democrats the party would look reckless if they ruled out nuclear – a “genuinely low carbon source of electricity” – as an option.
There were concerns about the cost of new nuclear power stations but Mr Davey told the conference he would not allow the price of projects to get out of control.
Campaigners had urged Lib Dems to reject the motion, ahead of the vote calling it a “crunch day” for the party.
Craig Bennett, of Friends of the Earth, said the Lib Dem backing of nuclear power had punched “a huge hole in the Liberal Democrats’ fast-sinking green credibility”.
“Nuclear power comes with massive costs attached. Ed Davey is deluded if he thinks new reactors can go ahead without public subsidy – building them will result in the Liberal Democrats, yet again, breaking their promises.
“Championing a plastic bag charge is a drop in the ocean. With its support for new reactors and gas-fired power stations and refusal to back power sector decarbonisation the Liberal Democrats are fast becoming Tory-lite when it comes to the environment.”
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