Labour pledges green energy investment, attacks Conservative’s record on renewables

The Labour Party has attacked the Conservative’s over their lack of support for renewable energy schemes while pledging to invest in green technologies if they win the next election.

The party said it would “invest in infrastructure and new green technology” across all regions of the UK and reasserted its commitment to renationalising Britain’s energy market.

It also criticised the Tories for a number of decisions including the rejection of the Swansea Tidal Lagoon project and the scrapping of both the ‘Zero Carbon Homes’ policy and a £1bn programme on carbon capture and storage.

This follows a report from the Commons Environmental Audit Committee in May which said that without new policies to halt falling renewable investment in the UK, the country could struggle to meet its climate change obligations. However, the government did announce new bids for subsidies for offshore wind farms worth £557m last month partly driven by the rapidly falling cost of the technology in recent years.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey claimed the government had “undermined the energy industry and our green economy” by scrapping key programmes.

Labour claims its policy of nationalising the energy sector would deliver renewable power and help consumers, although the Tories have said the plan would cost taxpayers money and result in a poorer service.

Long-Bailey, who was visiting a wind turbine manufacturer in Widnes on Monday, highlighted the Tory record on green energy schemes.

“The Tories have not given our energy industry the support it needs,” she said. “Our expensive and polluting energy system is reaching its sell by date, with investment falling and millions in contracts going overseas. At every turn, the government has undermined the energy industry and our green economy, scrapping big renewable projects, and the innovative expertise and jobs that come with them."

“Labour will build an energy system that actually delivers for businesses, workers and our environment, creating secure and high-skilled jobs, while at the same time ensuring that 60 per cent of our energy comes from zero-carbon or renewable sources by 2030.”

A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesman said: “Since 1990 carbon emissions are 40 per cent lower and we have established ourselves as one of the world leading nations in renewables and investment in low carbon technology. We are absolutely committed to ensuring our renewables sector continues to thrive through our Clean Growth Strategy and modern Industrial Strategy and by 2021 we’ll have invested over £2.5bn in low carbon innovations."

“To ensure our renewable sector can continue to grow we have provided industry with the certainty they need to invest in bringing forward new projects by setting out a clear timeline for future Contracts for Difference auctions and through our commitment to provide up to £557m of annual support.”

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