Labour’s “Green Plan” has been launched today and here at SERA we’re delighted – it’s full of lots of SERA thinking including the commitments we secured at the National Policy Forum on air pollution, community energy and bringing nature closer to people.
The plan comes nine years to the day from David Cameron’s infamous husky-hugging trip to the Arctic. However since then, the mask has slipped, and we’ve seen a record of Tory failure.
As the document points out David Cameron appointed Owen Paterson, who has repeatedly questioned the existence of climate change, as his Environment Secretary. He ignored the advice of the Committee on Climate Change and the Tories (backed by the Lib Dems) even tried to sell off the nation’s forests.
It’s clear there is an urgent need for a Labour Government again that will put protecting our environment at the heart of our agenda. Building on the commitments in our manifesto, Labour’s “Green Plan” includes:
- Setting a legally binding target to decarbonise our electricity supply by 2030.
- Delivering energy efficiency upgrades to at least five million homes over ten years.
- Creating a million new green jobs by 2025.
- Giving the Green Investment Bank borrowing powers.
- Developing a 25 year plan for the recovery of nature with clear five year milestones to measure progress.
Whilst under this Government we’ve seen the fiasco of Lib Dem-Conservative coalition being sued by the EU for air pollution, Labour will meet targets for carbon emission reduction and give local authorities the power to tackle air pollution, and work with them to develop a strategy to meet targets on air quality in the shortest time possible. That’s a SERA plan and a Labour plan.
Labour’s “Green Plan” spells out how a Labour Government will support the development of community energy. This will be done by ensuring the regulatory environment supports the development of this sector, and include exploring the potential for direct delivery of community-owned generation into homes and businesses. The FCA will also be asked to ensure that regulatory burdens do not unnecessarily impede community energy projects. That’s a SERA plan and a Labour plan.
What’s more, while the Tories tried to sell off our forests Labour’s “Green Plan” reasserts Labour’s plan to protect the public forest estate and bring nature closer to people by planting new woodland and trees closer to where people live. That’s a SERA plan and a Labour plan.
The Tories have shown in Government their indifference to our planet’s future and their manifesto shows the next five years would be no different as their manifesto categorically rules out setting a decarbonisation target.
Within months of the General Election, the UN Paris summit will take place to agree a binding global agreement to tackle climate change. Labour’s “Green Plan“ gives us real confidence that a Labour Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change will be able to show Britain is leading the world again on Climate Change and use this summit to champion increased climate ambition from all the world’s major economies.