For the green movement, there was a lot to be pleased with. Clean growth and a focus on sustainability was a main strand of Corbyn’s speech but, oddly, these were not the most impressive environmental announcements during the week. While the creation of 400,000 skilled jobs in green industries, a target of 85 per cent renewable electricity within 12 years of coming to power, and a plan to make every house in the UK more energy efficient, were to be welcomed, more ambitious policies could be found elsewhere. On Monday, Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow secretary for business, energy and industrial strategy, announced an ambition for the UK to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions within 30 years. Along with a letter to the prime minister last month from over 130 MPs from all parties, this announcement placed net zero right at the heart of the political mainstream and laid the groundwork for the UK to continue its proud history of world leading climate action. More importantly, it was accompanied by solid policy proposals (repeated two days later in the leader’s speech) that would allow the UK to deliver in the short term and start on the road to net zero now. At the Greener UK event on Sunday, Sue Hayman, shadow secretary for environment, food and rural affairs, promoted The green transformation, a joint report by her and the shadow business secretary that identified the environment as the bedrock of the economy. The need for environment and climate not to be addressed solely by their respective departments, but to be central to government thinking as a whole, was highlighted by two policies in particular: a mandate on the Office for Budget Responsibility to model the impacts on the public finances from climate change; and a National Transformation Fund that would invest £250 billion over ten years to place the economy on a low carbon, sustainable footing.
Green Alliance Blog 28th Sept 2018 read more »