Dave Elliott: Delegates at the UK Labour party’s annual conference, which took place at the end of September, have backed some radical moves on energy and climate policy. The Momentum campaign group led calls for Labour – the country’s main opposition party — to adopt a much more ambitious timetable than the “zero net carbon by 2050” policy of the government itself, instead seeking to reach zero carbon by 2030. Proponents justified the faster timetable on the grounds that since the UK had benefited in the past from massive use of fossil energy, the country ought to now shift more quickly and give poorer countries time to catch up with their transitions. Rebecca Long-Bailey, Labour’s shadow business secretary, said she would support the more ambitious aim if there were a “credible plan with trade unions and industry”, and a “just transition” that did not adversely affect workers. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Long-Bailey said: ”Provided we have a plan, I am happy to work as quickly as possible. I know we have got to act faster and we’ve got to push people to do that.” In the event, radical motions to that end got through, and are likely to shape Labour’s election manifesto, as part of its commitment to a “green industrial revolution”. That commitment was already apparent at conference itself, when it was announced that Labour would invest £6.2bn from its proposed £250bn national transformation fund in 37 new offshore wind farms, taking wind to 52::GW. A matching amount would be invested by Labour’s proposed regional energy agencies, which would replace a renationalised National Grid, details of which were revealed earlier this year. The remaining £70bn would be sought from private-sector investors, with 51% of the new wind farms owned by the public. When it comes to nuclear power, however, Labour is less clear. Nuclear is still backed by some trades unions, such as the GMB, but the Green New Deal documents point out that per-person emissions in countries like France and Sweden are similar to those in the UK despite them having low-carbon power sectors mainly through the many nuclear stations there. “There are currently no examples of high-income countries with genuinely low carbon economies,” Labour warns. “To correct this, the Green New Deal must extend its vision beyond the decarbonisation of the power sector into buildings, industry and transport’.
Physics World 2nd Oct 2019 read more »
Jeremy Corbyn will unveil plans to create another 70,000 jobs in offshore windfarms part-owned by the public as his party gears up for an election manifesto focusing on a green industrial revolution. The Labour leader will visit a windfarm on Wednesday as he launches his commitment to a further 37 offshore windfarms. They would be built with a mixture of public and private finance as Labour members voted for stringent targets of net-zero emissions by 2030 at their autumn conference. Under the party’s 10-year plan, the UK’s capacity for wind energy would increase by fivefold and benefit from an £83bn investment. Corbyn will also promise to give the public a controlling 51% stake in all new windfarms, with 20% of the profits for the taxpayer being invested back into coastal communities and 80% of public profits to be reinvested into decarbonising the economy and tackling climate change.
Guardian 9th Oct 2019 read more »
Speaking at an event hosted by the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) at the annual Conservative Party Conference, Bim Afolami MP has defended nuclear power and the opportunities it presents to the UK. Speaking at an event hosted by the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) at the annual Conservative Party Conference, Bim Afolami MP said nuclear power was “part of an essential mix” if the UK wants to hit the Government’s pledge of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Politics Home 9th Oct 2019 read more »