“There is no bigger threat facing humanity than climate change, we must lead by example” exclaimed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the 2018 Labour Party Conference in Liverpool.
The Labour party leader made a vow to begin a ‘green job revolution’ in a bid to stop the ‘greed is good culture’ which he explained is occurring in society as it stands.
Labour plans to use £13.8bn from a new National Transformation Fund to increase wind energy use by seven times the current rate and thus creating 410,000 jobs in the process.
The plans come as fears on climate change are still heavily raised and debated. Earlier this year the organisation WWF argued that without rapid change by the mid-century we could have a nearly ice-free summer in the Arctic. Corbyn has argued that Labour’s energy plans would “make Britain the only developed country outside Scandinavia to be on track to meet our climate change obligations.”
Currently, many countries are failing to meet emission reduction targets set by The Climate Change Act 2008, Britain included. Earlier this year, the Committee on Cl found Britain is not on track to meet legally binding carbon targets set for 2025 and 2030.
So, what does this pledge mean for the British people and are they pro the revolution?
Labour plans aim to have a have a solar panel on every viable roof and to double the number of wind turbines which has previously been banned by the current government to “halt the spread of onshore wind farms which “often fail to gain public support”.
However, according to a recent YouGov Poll two-thirds of people supported the overturning of the ban which led to a 94% fall in planning applications for new onshore wind farms.
With GDP down (Office for National Statistics figures January to March 2018), will this be the answer to the slowing economy and creating more jobs? Colin Hines from the UK Green New Deal Group in a letter to the Guardian heaped praise on the proposals not only for wind turbines but more importantly solar improvements;
“Important as these green energy sources are, the real potential for jobs in every constituency lies in making the UK’s existing 28m dwellings and 2m commercial and public-sector buildings energy-efficient, with renewable technology such as solar PV fitted where feasible. There are, for example, 8m homes with solid walls which are without any effective insulation, and nearly 40m smart meters still need to be installed. The majority of this work has to be done locally and has the advantage of being hard to automate or relocate abroad; it also requires a wide range of activities and skills that are likely to be needed for decades”
Muted praise has come from Greenpeace as they have argued it does not go far enough “Labour still falls short as they argued the policy does not include any tackle on ocean pollution or roll out of electric vehicles”.
Current Energy Minister Claire Perry also argued: “We have already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over a fifth and helped secure the Paris climate change deal, ensuring that we protect our environment for future generations. This is the 37th unfunded promise Labour have made since the last election. Labour’s ideas have all failed before and would leave the country struggling with more debt, more waste and ordinary working people paying for it – just like last time.”
However, with about 55% of the UK’s planned carbon reductions being tied to regulations derived from the EU at present, a post-Brexit Britain will need to implement its own forms of regulations whichever party is elected if targets are to be achieved. Time will tell if the proposals lead to votes and implementation after the next general election but Mr Corbyn has stated that “people in this country know, they showed that in June last year – that the old way of running things isn’t working any more. That’s why Labour is offering a radical plan to rebuild and transform Britain.