Labour's climate rhetoric is strong, but clarity needed
Responding to Labour’s green energy plans, announced by Sir Keir Starmer in Scotland today, Mike Childs, head of science, policy and research at Friends of the Earth, said:
“Labour's rhetoric on climate change is strong and it is right to focus on the UK's huge potential for cheap, homegrown renewables. Enabling communities to benefit from local clean power projects, lifting the ban on onshore wind and committing to develop a homegrown industry to build offshore wind turbines, will all boost green growth, create new jobs and ensure people feel ownership and reap the rewards of the shift to a clean energy system.
“The UK is veering dangerously off track for meeting its legally binding climate targets at home and global commitments to cut carbon emissions.
“A world-leading and credible climate plan also needs greater clarity on the phase out date for fossil fuel use and there can be no rowing back on the pledge to stop new oil and gas extraction. A fully funded green prosperity plan is needed, with urgent investment in a street-by-street insulation programme, alongside a swift and fair transition to renewables.”
* Since issuing this statement, the Labour Party has published its 'MAKE BRITAIN A CLEAN ENERGY SUPERPOWER' policy document.
It has committed to "deliver a national Warm Homes Plan to upgrade nineteen million homes over a decade, installing energy saving measures such as loft insulation, going street by street in locally delivered programmes. Labour will give devolved governments and local authorities the power and the resources to bring every home in their area up to standard within a decade, with public investment in home energy ramping up to £6 billion annual investment in the second half of the parliament at the latest, in line with our Green Prosperity Plan.” Friends of the Earth welcomes this announcement.
Unfortunately, Labour has also said it will "manage our existing [oil and gas] fields for the entirety of their lifespan. As the North Sea Transition Authority (NTSA) itself indicates, oil and gas production in the North Sea will be with us for decades to come”. Friends of the Earth argues that we need a faster transition from the extraction and use of fossil fuels.