Jeremy Corbyn has pledged a “green jobs revolution” to create more than 400,000 skilled posts in low carbon industries.
In his keynote speech at the Labour annual conference today (26 September), the opposition leader said the investment required to deliver the party’s goal to achieve a 60 per cent cut in emissions by 2030 will create more than 400,000 skilled jobs.
He said: “I know that sounds ambitious. It is ambitious and will be delivered with the most far-reaching programme of investment and transformation in decades.
“Labour will kick-start a green jobs revolution that will help tackle climate change, provide sustainable energy for the future and create skilled jobs in every nation and region of the UK.”
Corbyn said a future Labour government would work with trade unions to protect jobs and skills in the transition towards a low-carbon economy.
The speech follows yesterday’s announcement by shadow business and energy secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey that Labour would back a ramp up in deployment of wind power generation to achieve its 60 per cent goal.
Recalling former deputy prime minister John Prescott’s contribution to securing the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to tackle rising carbon emissions, Corbyn said there is “no bigger threat facing humanity” than climate change.
Responding to the Labour leader’s speech, Energy UK chief executive Lawrence Slade hailed Labour’s pledge to provide additional funding to improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock as an “important commitment”.
“We support the focus shown today on low carbon energy, green jobs and energy efficiency.
“The energy companies have taken huge strides forward and we are now global leaders in decarbonisation. Maintaining investment with a long-term stable policy environment is critical to continue the drive to a low and ultimately zero carbon system. This will not only create jobs and benefit the economy but also deliver against environmental targets.”
Leonie Greene, advocacy director of the Solar Trade Association, said: “Whatever your politics, the economic facts on the ground are that an energy system driven by expanding wind and solar now offers the lowest cost pathway.
“The government estimates that around £180 billion needs to be invested in the electricity sector alone to 2030, so enabling the lowest cost technologies which do not need public subsidy and which do not contribute to climate change, namely solar and onshore wind, would be very good news for consumers.”