Labor would invest £ 28bn a year in climate measures to protect Britain from disasters, Rachel Reeves has announced by far the party’s biggest spending commitment to date.
The amount would quadruple the government’s current capital investment and Labor said it hoped to attract an equal sum of private investment in green technologies. In total, the party will pledge to spend £ 224bn on climate measures over the next eight years.
Reeves, the shadow chancellor who has underlined the party’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, told the Labor conference in Brighton that it would be “the first green chancellor” and that the costs of climate change would be higher if the government did not invest now.
The party promises an additional green capital investment of £ 28 billion a year by 2030, equivalent to more than half of the current defense budget. Under the Labor Party, Reeves said, there would be “no move or delay” in the fight against the crisis.
Expenditure targets would include giant factories to build batteries for electric vehicles, the hydrogen industry, marine wind turbines made in Britain and more everyday infrastructure such as home insulation, bike lanes, tree planting and flood defense.
Worker said public spending was justified to keep costs from rising further, citing the Office of Budgetary Responsibility’s 2021 fiscal risk report, which said delaying a significant investment a decade could double costs. of a green transition.
Reeves and Labor leader Keir Starmer will expect the policy to give a definitive answer to the fringes of members who believe the party has been bold enough to tackle the climate crisis. On Sunday, Starmer was chased by Labor activists from the Green New Deal Rising campaign group, which called for £ 85 billion in infrastructure investments to create green jobs.
“Value for money means knowing when and where not to spend,” Reeves said in the conference room. “But it also means knowing when and where to invest, to avoid much higher costs.
“There is no better example of this than in the case of climate change. As Chancellor, do not shy away from our responsibility to future generations and to the workers and businesses of Britain … We will provide certainty and show leadership in this decisive decade. I will be a responsible chancellor. I will be Britain’s first green chancellor. “
The announcement came amid a split in Starmer’s shadow cabinet over the nationalization of energy companies. Reeves and Starmer have said it is not on the Labor agenda, opening a gap with shadow business secretary Ed Miliband, who wanted to keep the option open.
On Sunday, Labor delegates passed a motion calling for a “new green socialist agreement” that includes the nationalization of the energy sector and the creation of a national nature service, “a government program that creates millions of green jobs well remunerated and publicly owned unions ”and“ massive investment in green and renewable technologies ”.
Asked about Starmer’s promise when he ran as Labor leader to put energy companies in “common ownership”, Reeves told the BBC on Monday that the fuel crisis “was not about nationalization or privatization”.
Reeves called for more government measures to attract drivers of heavy vehicles amid fuel shortages.
“We have to fill those gaps,” he said. “We have been saying for some time that the government should refer this to the migration advisory committee on skills shortages. But then they have to train more British workers so that they have the necessary skills to be able to do these jobs and especially improve the conditions and also the remuneration of the drivers of heavy vehicles ”.
Asked if the crisis was a consequence of Brexit, Reeves said Labor had always pointed to “a number of shortcomings in the agreement” signed by Boris Johnson, but would only seek solutions to attract outside workers as needed, not a return. more general to the free movement of people.
Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission.