Barry Gardiner: The next Labour government will launch a new programme called ‘Repowering Britain’ that puts you in control. It will build on the innovation and leadership of 70 Labour Councils who have already committed to run their towns on 100 per cent clean energy by 2050. We need to localise the way energy is produced and stored. I want people earning from the energy they produce on their rooftop solar or their community wind turbines, not just consuming what the Big Six sell. We need to create smart networks and local grids to make energy work to pay people rather than people working to pay their energy bills. How can it be right that when the Government found out that we were being overcharged by £1.4billion a year on our energy bills they said, ‘it’s all the customers fault – we should shop around more’. Well we do. We need to shop around for a new government. A new Labour government will legislate to force the energy companies to put you on their cheapest tariff and to tell you if you can get a better deal elsewhere. More people die from cold each winter here in the UK than in Finland. We have four million people in fuel poverty and yet heat is escaping through draughty walls and windows. We will train a skilled workforce to retrofit insulation in Britain’s older housing stock to help vulnerable people keep warm and safe and free from fuel poverty.
Labour Party Press Release 26th Sept 2016 read more »
Business Green 26th Sept 2016 read more »
Labour has committed to ban fracking if it wins the next election. The party has so far called for a moratorium on fracking in the UK, and criticised the environmental safeguards that have been weakened by the Conservative goverment. But Barry Gardiner MP, the shadow energy and climate change secretary, is expected to announce today that the party will ban fracking outright.
Independent 26th Sept 2016 read more »
Fracking would be banned under a Labour government, the party announced yesterday, causing a furious reaction from unions. The party’s new stance would leave Britain dependent on foreign gas from “regimes fronted by henchmen, hangmen and headchoppers”, the GMB union said. The clash comes as the government prepares to announce whether it will overrule Lancashire county council, which rejected two fracking applications by Cuadrilla last year. The industry expects Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, to approve at least one of the applications.
Times 27th Sept 2016 read more »
One of Labour’s biggest donors has reacted angrily to the party’s announcement that it would ban fracking if it wins the next general election. Barry Gardiner, shadow energy secretary, said the UK should back “the clean technologies of the future” rather than locking itself into “dirty” fossil fuel use for another 30 years. The GMB union called the ban “madness”. The Conservative government has enthusiastically backed fracking as a way for Britain to develop new energy sources.
FT 26th Sept 2016 read more »
Stuart Fegan, the GMB’s national officer, added: “It is a nonsense that any political party serious on forming a government after the next planned general election in 2020 could promote a ban on shale gas extraction outright. With our national dependency on gas consumption set to increase in the immediate future, ruling out the possible use of a natural fuel that exists beneath our feet in parts of the UK is ridiculous.” Caroline Flint, the former shadow energy secretary, also criticised the proposed ban without there being a policy to replace it. She told a fringe event: “We can’t just be against things. Nobody is going to vote for a policy if they think that [energy] security is going to be at risk.” The stance leaves the party even more strongly opposed to fracking than the Scottish government, which has a moratorium in place until the impacts of hydraulic fracturing are researched further. The Welsh government opposes fracking and has instructed local authorities to turn down applications. In contrast to the negative reaction from the GMB, many environmental groups were delighted. Hannah Martin, energy campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “With opposition to fracking at an all-time high across the country, this ban on an unproven and inexperienced industry will be widely welcomed.”
Guardian 26th Sept 2016 read more »