Idyllic scenery of English Lake District in springtime.

Labour calls for £30bn plan to cut carbon and create green jobs

Image credit: Jasminelove/Dreamstime

The Labour Party has called for the Government to invest at least £30bn in the next 18 months on a green recovery to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the UK.

Labour is calling for billions of pounds of planned capital investment to be brought forward and dedicated to low-carbon sectors, ranging from electric vehicle charging to upgrading ports to support offshore wind. The low-carbon infrastructure that is needed for the future – from offshore wind turbines to electric buses – should be built in Britain to boost manufacturing and create jobs, the party added. 

According to Labour, bringing forward investment of at least £30bn over 18 months for low-carbon sectors as part of a stimulus package to recover from the pandemic could help create an additional 400,000 jobs across the UK. The party also said a consultation with businesses, trade unions, and other organisations highlights the need for an emergency training programme to help people gain the skills they need for the future green economy.

Furthermore, party members suggested that ministers should create a national investment bank focused on green investment and ensure that public spending always aids the drive to cut emissions to net-zero.

The UK has a legal target to cut greenhouse gases to zero overall by 2050, with huge cuts to emissions and any remaining pollution 'offset' by measures such as planting trees. The Government is expected to set out a 10-point plan shortly to help drive the shift to net zero with efforts to tackle pollution in areas such as transport, power, and homes.

According to a report based on Labour’s consultation, the action that would create jobs and tackle the climate and environment crisis include investing in upgrading ports and shipyards to support offshore wind supply chains; accelerating investment in technology such as producing hydrogen as a clean fuel, and schemes to capture carbon emissions from power and industry and introducing a national nature service, an employment programme which would focus on conservation projects.

“We face a jobs emergency and a climate emergency. It’s time for a bold and ambitious plan to deliver hundreds of thousands of jobs which can also tackle the climate crisis,” said shadow business secretary Ed Miliband. “This is the right thing to do for so many people who are facing unemployment, the right thing to do for our economy to get a lead in the industries of the future, and the right thing to do to build a better quality of life for people in our country.”

Meanwhile, shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said: “Future generations will judge us by the choices we make today to tackle the unemployment crisis and face up to the realities of the climate emergency.”

The Government spokesperson said that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will set out further details in the November Spending Review about how this will help deliver the nation’s net-zero climate target. 

They added: “We have already set out billions of pounds in green investment, including decarbonisation and greener homes, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, walking and cycling infrastructure, flood defences, and backing offshore wind to power every UK home by 2030. And our investment in new technologies will continue creating green jobs as we build back greener from Covid.”


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