Labour's energy plan will create one million jobs, help tackle climate and cost of living crises, and make UK less reliant on Vladimir Putin and co – Ian Murray
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I was really excited by the launch of UK Labour’s “green superpower” mission in Edinburgh this week. It is the most ambitious and bold of policies that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, lower energy bills permanently, provide energy security and meet our climate change obligations. It will tackle the climate crisis and the cost-of-living crisis at the same time.
Constituents get in contact with me daily on a number of subjects, from Ukraine to the ongoing political turmoil in the Tories and the SNP, but it has been the cost-of-living crisis that has hit residents the hardest. I have heard heartbreaking stories of families going hungry and cold, lamenting the lack of energy support from Westminster. I’ve even had a few on the verge of losing their homes due to mortgage-rate hikes.
UK energy inflation in March stood at 40.5 per cent, the highest in the G7, which, combined with inaction from the Westminster Tories, is keeping UK inflation at a stubborn 8.7 per cent, much higher than most of our peers. Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Labour was calling for a windfall tax on oil and gas profits to help households but that solution is a sticking plaster when we also need a long-term fix.
On Monday, Sir Keir Starmer was in Leith, joining Anas Sarwar to launch our green superpower mission. It will create GB Energy, a publicly owned energy company, which will be the vehicle to decarbonise energy generation by 2030. Our 2030 zero-carbon mission will double onshore wind, treble solar, quadruple offshore wind and invest in nuclear energy to cut your energy bills. We will also insulate 19 million homes over a decade, cutting bills by up to £1,000 and gas imports by 15 per cent.
Our mission will create 500,000 direct and indirect jobs in clean energy and another 500,000 in insulation. These will be clean, green, highly skilled and well-paid jobs that will help Britain lead the world in climate action and domestic energy generation. What’s more, GB Energy will be headquartered in Scotland, to ensure any transition includes those that work in the North Sea oil and gas sector. It will continue for decades to come but we must demonstrate that the jobs and energy can be replaced.
Of course, bringing down energy bills and cutting our reliance on foreign thugs like Putin are enormous collateral benefits to decarbonising our economy but we are also able to take international leadership in tackling the climate crisis. In March, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered its “final warning” to governments across the globe that a transition to net zero needs to happen now. If we do not act now, it will be too late and if we need to act at some stage, why not do it now?
A majority of voters for all the major parties back a publicly owned energy company – GB Energy, created by Labour but owned by you, is on the way. It should be obvious then, that publicly owned energy will lower bills, benefit our environment, our economy and our international standing. It will create jobs, provide energy security and develop new supply chains.
It’s a win for everyone and only Labour can deliver it.
Ian Murray is Labour MP For Edinburgh South