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Clean energy transition prioritised in Labour party manifesto

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The Labour party released its’ manifesto earlier today, highlighting the clean energy transition as a “huge opportunity to generate growth, tackle the cost-of-living crisis and make Britain energy independent”.

While launching the manifesto party leader Sir Keir Starmer pointed to growth within low carbon industries as one of Labour’s major economic drivers, pledging to invest £7.3bn in them over the next Parliament, including £1.5bn for Gigafactories producing electric vehicle batteries; £1.8bn to decarbonise ports; £1bn for carbon capture solutions and £500m for green hydrogen production.

As part of their ‘Clean power mission’ Labour wishes to “have lower bills for good, from a zero-carbon electricity system”, underlining the benefits and opportunities available to us from both a decarbonised energy system and transition to Net Zero.

Specifically Labour has pledged to:

  • Maintain the UK’s 2050 net-zero target and fully decarbonise the electricity system by 2030.
  • Double onshore wind, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind by 2030. 
  • Invest in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and marine energy, and ensure the UK has the long-term energy storage required.
  • Reinstate the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel car sales, delayed to 2035 by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and accelerate the roll out of chargepoints.
  • Create a new publicly-owned company, Great British Energy, to help drive forward investment in clean energy.
  • Establish a ‘Warm Homes Plan’ initiative which will offer grants and low interest loans  for insulation and investments in other clean energy solutions, such as solar panels, batteries and low carbon heating technologies.
  • Work with industry to upgrade our national transmission infrastructure and ‘rewire Britain’.

Existing offshore oil and gas drilling licences would remain in place under a Labour government, however new licences would not be issued and there would be an extension to the windfall tax on oil and gas producers. The rate of tax would also be boosted from 35% to 38%.

Plans have also been outlined to help restore and protect our natural world, including the establishment of three new National Forests in England and the expansion of habitats such as wetlands, peat bogs and forests, including on public land.

On the subject of agriculture, Labour has promised to ‘champion British farming whilst protecting the environment’, recognising that “food security is national security”. A target will reportedly be set for half of all food purchased across the public sector to be locally produced or certified to higher environmental standards, while a new land-use framework will be introduced.

The Labour party manifesto 2024 can be downloaded in full from here.

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