Jeremy Corbyn promises ‘green industrial revolution’
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Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has promised to usher in a ‘green industrial revolution’ to tackle climate change if he becomes Prime Minister.
Speaking at a visit to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, Corbyn criticised the previous Coalition government for scrapping the 'Warm Front Scheme' insulation programme in 2013. This scheme aimed to help struggling households by providing energy efficiency improvement, such as loft insulation. It was replaced with the 'Green Deal', which allows for energy efficiency improvements to be paid through savings on household energy bills. This was a “disaster”, Corbyn said.
According to House of Commons Library data, scrapping the programme cost households £3.7bn since 2013 and is associated with the emission of an extra 14.6 million tonnes of CO2 by 2017.
Corbyn promised that: “The next Labour government will turn this failed approach on its head with a Green Industrial Revolution to tackle the climate emergency, create hundreds of thousands of good green jobs in every region and nation of our country and save millions of households money on their bills.”
“From the mass installation of solar panels, insulating homes, building the Swansea Tidal Lagoon, expanding solar and wind energy and bringing the National Grid into public ownership, Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution will benefit working-class people by cutting energy bills, creating good jobs in new, green industries and fighting the climate emergency,” he continued. “Social justice and climate justice are inseparable. Labour will tackle inequality and environmental destruction together.”
The proposal was welcomed by National Energy Action, a charity campaigning to end fuel poverty. “Improving energy efficiency in fuel-poor homes saves money, carbon and lives,” said Paul Smith, director of policy and research at the charity.
Labour’s proposal - although relatively scant in detail at this point - appears to mirror the ‘Green New Deal’ proposed by progressive lawmakers in the US: a vast stimulus package which could address climate change and economic injustice by investing heavily in industries such as renewable energy and electric vehicles.
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