Environment & Energy
Action to Secure Our Environment
We will act to protect the future of our planet, with social justice at the heart of our environment policies, and take our fair share of action to meet the Paris climate agreement – starting by getting on track with our Climate Change Act goals. We will accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, and drive the expansion of the green industries and jobs of the future, using our National Investment Bank to invest in public and community-owned renewable energy. We will deliver clean energy and curb energy bill rises for households; an energy policy for the 60 million, not the Big 6 energy companies. We will defend and extend the environmental protections gained from the EU.
Britain will lead the world in action on climate change. Over 300,000 renewable energy jobs to make Britain a world-leading renewables producer. Clean air, democratic power, 64m trees planted.
■ We will set a UK target of 65% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, dramatically decarbonizing our energy system and aim towards zero-carbon electricity production
■ Comprehensive industrial strategy and long-term investment from government to deliver over 300,000 new, high-quality jobs in renewables1
■ Britain will aim to be the world’s leading producer of renewables technology, claiming its share of estimate $630bn market by 2030
■ Low-carbon housebuilding programme to create jobs, tackle the housing crisis and reduce bills
■ Give power back to local authorities and communities to challenge monopoly producers
■ Cleaner air in our cities and 64m new trees planted
- Lead Action on Climate Change
In 2015 the world came together to agree the landmark Paris Climate Agreement aimed at keeping global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Instead of accelerating action to tackle climate change, the Conservative Government have introduced new tax breaks for oil and gas that will cost the UK taxpayer billions, cut support for renewables and for energy efficiency, and are going ‘all out’ for fracking. Yet we are facing a climate crisis. 2016 is set to be the hottest year on record and greenhouse gas emissions globally are still not falling. We are seeing the impacts of climate change much earlier than anyone predicted – around the world and at home. The Labour Party must stand for a different Britain – one that would play a leading role internationally and committed to cutting carbon emissions at home.
My Labour government will:
■ Ensure the UK leads on climate change: honouring the Paris Climate Agreement – starting by getting back on track to meet our Climate Change Act commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions; and using our international influence to champion the global shift to a low-carbon future
■ Mobilise schools and communities to help plant and care for 64 million native broadleaf trees in 10 years – storing carbon dioxide, reducing flood risk, providing homes for wildlife, absorbing air pollution, and helping to make our towns and cities beautiful places to live and work
■ We will reinstate the Department of Energy and Climate Change within the first month of a Corbyn-led Government.
- Build a World-Class Green Economy
Britain risks being left behind in the world’s fast-growing low-carbon market. We will accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, renewable economy, and drive the expansion of the green industries and jobs of the future, using our National Investment Bank to invest in public and community-owned renewable energy. We will put modern low-carbon industries at the heart of our £500 billion investment strategy. We will restore business confidence through coherent, consistent policy that champions the innovators and puts Britain, our cities, our devolved governments and communities at the forefront of this new industrial revolution. This is the Britain I want to build: a future that is cutting-edge, inclusive and sustainable.
My Labour government will:
Invest in modern Britain with the new National Investment Bank and regional development banks:
■ Drive investment into strategic low-carbon industries and research and development to transform our economy’s efficiency, push down technology costs and create high quality jobs across the country
■ Implement a comprehensive industrial strategy to deliver a new, green industrial revolution
■ Fund decarbonisation strategies for energy-intensive industry such as steel, chemicals, ceramics and paper to protect competitiveness and jobs in the transition to a low carbon economy
■ Support mayors and councils as important leaders and drivers of the shift to a new low carbon economy.
■ Introduce new college programmes and quality apprenticeships to ensure people from every community – including women and BAME people – can win the high-skilled jobs of the low-carbon future
■ Engage with workers and trade unions to ensure that workforces affected by declining fossil fuel industries, such as coal and North Sea oil and gas, are supported into decent sustainable employment, with local economies diversified and local communities supported.
Protect people and communities:
■ Stop the planning system being rigged in the interests of developers against communities
■ Defend access to justice when governments make unlawful decisions over environmental issues such as fracking and air pollution.
- Run our Economy on Clean Energy
Our broken energy system is holding Britain back. Starved of investment by the big 6 energy companies, our electricity system is expensive, inefficient and polluting and in urgent need of renewal to keep the lights on. Yet we have enough wind, wave and sun potential not only to power our economy, but to export. Scotland recently met more than 100% of its electricity needs with renewable energy alone. A nation of draughty homes has left seven million households seriously struggling to pay their energy bills and yet we have the skills, technology and people needing quality jobs to fix them. 12 29,000 people die early every year from air pollution primarily caused by burning dirty fossil fuels. We will deliver clean energy, affordable heating and electricity – energy for the 60 million, not the big 6 energy companies.
My Labour government will:
Let local communities take back control of their power:
■ Promote the growth of over 200 ‘local energy companies’ within the next parliament; giving towns, cities and localities the powers they need to drive a UK clean energy revolution; and making public, not-for-profit companies and co-ops the centrepiece of a new energy economics.
■ Support the development of 1,000 community energy co-operatives, with rights to sell energy directly to the localities they serve, with regional development bank assistance for grid connection costs. We will introduce a ‘right to supply’.
My Labour government will:
Cut energy waste and costs, easing the pressure on household budgets and our environment:
■ Ensure everyone has access to a decent home that is affordable to keep warm and uses energy efficiently
■ Make building insulation a national infrastructure priority. We will launch a publicly funded National Home Insulation programme that would see at least 4 million homes insulated to energy efficiency standard B or C in the first term of a Labour Government – creating tens of thousands of jobs across every community, reducing the need for expensive new energy generation, and helping millions of people to save money on their bills13
■ Build 1 million new homes – including half a million council houses – to ‘passive-haus’ or energy-plus standards
■ End the misery of cold rented accommodation. We will set a minimum ‘B and C’ energy efficiency standard for all rented housing by the end of the first parliament
■ Protect people from fuel poverty through support with energy efficiency measures and with fuel bills for the most vulnerable in our society.
Drive the low-carbon transition, future-proofing our society:
■ Repower Britain: A low zero carbon electricity system by 2030, in line with advice from the independent Committee on Climate Change, with 65% renewable electricity, aiming for 85% as technology improves and diffuses
■ Create over 300,000 renewable energy jobs throughout the supply chain, boosting exports and making the UK a world-leading renewable energy producer
■ Put cities, councils, devolved governments and communities at the heart of an efficient decentralised energy system
■ Use our National Investment Bank and network of regional development banks to drive investment into public and community-owned renewable energy and a modern smart grid to ensure a balance between supply and demand
■ Ensure clean storage and backup: Invest to make Britain a world leader in new clean energy storage technologies and introduce a new ‘Clean Power Mechanism’ to replace the current expensive polluting Capacity Market
■ Allow local authorities to set annual renewables deployment targets, embedding clean energy into the core of how we think about the built environment
■ Place a duty on DNO’s (energy Distribution Network Operators) to deliver an annual 10% reduction in their carbon footprint; giving them an expanded remit which allows them to act as energy service providers and as co-investors in demand management, energy saving and energy storage schemes
■ Clean up our transport system: Halve air pollution deaths by 2030 by promoting a shift to electric and hydrogen buses and cars; a network of low-emission zones; and to cycling with safe cycle lanes and hire schemes in every town and city
■ Increase energy Research and Development spending, reversing its long-term decline
■ Commit to the further development and deployment of tidal power.
End polluting energy, delivering a clean future for all:
■ Take action now to keep fossil fuels in the ground, set a target date to end new fossil fuel extraction and end dirty energy handouts. 80% of known fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground if we are to keep global temperatures safe
■ Phase out coal power stations by the early 2020s with support for workers into alternative, decent employment
■ Ban fracking – further extraction of hard-to-reach fossil fuels is not compatible with our climate commitments and will cost the country heavily in the long-term.
- Defend and Extend Environmental Protections Gained from the EU, and Protect Nature
Everybody should have the right to live in a healthy environment and have access to nature and wild spaces. But nature is in trouble. The Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the last 40 years. 80% of environmental protections that people and nature rely on – from keeping our beaches clean to setting air pollution standards, and protecting National Parks such as Snowdonia, Dartmoor and Flamborough Head – come from the EU. Conservative Ministers have made clear that they see these protections as red tape to be torn away in a race to the bottom on pollution.
My Labour government will:
■ Fully implement EU environmental protections, including the Birds and Habitats Directives, and air pollution standards, and refuse to agree to any Brexit deal that reduces environmental standards.
■ Introduce a long-term plan to stop the loss and begin the recovery of nature including:
■ Strengthening environmental protections in farming and fishing: supporting farmers, landowners and fishing communities to deliver environmental benefits alongside thriving, sustainable businesses.
■ Creating corridors of nature to better connect protected nature sites, providing pathways for wildlife such as bats and butterflies.
■ Banning the use of neonicotinoid pesticides which harm pollinating insects including bees and encourage bee-friendly plants in our parks, urban spaces and countryside.
■ Use a precautionary principle to protect the environment and people from harm – not a payto-pollute approach allowing the richest corporations and individuals to wreck our planet.