The UK under a Labor government would form an “anti-OPEC” alliance of countries dedicated to renewable energy, to drive down energy prices and promote clean technology, shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband has said.
A clean energy alliance would allow countries to cooperate to secure lower-cost energy supplies, spur the expansion of wind, solar and other forms of low-carbon energy, and potentially share or to export electricity on connected networks.
Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Costa Rica and Kenya are potential partners, and Miliband will provide additional support during the UN Cop27 climate summit, which he visits for several days. Labor has pledged to produce 100% low-carbon electricity by 2030.
“This potential clean energy alliance is like anti-OPEC,” Miliband said, referring to the group of oil-producing nations. “I say anti-Opec because Opec is a cartel, a group of countries working together to keep prices high. It would be a way for countries to come together to be on the cutting edge and say: “We’re going to provide clean energy and that will help lower prices, not just for us but for others.”
He said the fall in the price of renewables over the past decade was “the biggest source of optimism we should all have” about the climate crisis. “It is now cheaper to save the planet than to destroy it,” Miliband said in an interview with the Guardian at Cop27. “It’s a message we should be shouting from the rooftops, because the implications of this message are profound.”
Labor leader Keir Starmer has pledged to lift the current ban on onshore wind farms, which offer the cheapest form of renewable energy. Changes to the planning system under David Cameron have effectively prevented the construction of new onshore wind farms in the UK since 2015.
Labor would also stop awarding new oil and gas licenses in the North Sea. The Conservative government plans to award more than 100 development and exploration permits of this type.
Miliband refrained from committing to revoke all licenses granted, but stressed that companies with exploration licenses needed additional licenses to develop fields, which Labor would not grant.
He also wants three new nuclear power plants, as advised by the Climate Change Commission. Generating electricity from biomass – burning trees – should be “carefully examined”, he promised, to ensure that it was environmentally sustainable and economically viable.
Miliband, who attended Cops as secretary of state for energy and climate change from 2008 to 2010, accused the government of behaving like “climate chameleons”. He pointed out that since hosting the COP26 climate summit, where nations agreed to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the government had returned – briefly – to hydraulic fracturing, had conjured up a new coal mine, granted new oil and gas. licenses, gave tax breaks to fossil fuels, maintained ban on onshore wind, cut aid to poor countries, failed on isolation and then snubbed Cop27, until Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, made turn around and come for a day.
Alok Sharma, the cabinet minister who chaired COP26, did “an important and honorable job”, Miliband said. “I’m a fan of Sharma, but he was undermined by a government that told people, ‘do as we say, not as we do’. And that’s a big deal.
The UK has lost its standing on the international stage as a result, he added. “The problem is the government made promises and then broke promises, and that’s not a good basis of trust.”
Sunak’s initial decision to snub the Cop27 summit and prevent King Charles from attending had been “extraordinary” and “embarrassing”, Miliband said. “You don’t have to be a climate nerd to understand that Cop26 was a big deal and we hosted Cop26, and so Cop27, where we were handing over the presidency, is a big deal as well,” he said. he declared. “And if [more than] 90 world leaders go there, you know you should probably be there.
He said Sunak “just doesn’t understand this agenda. He doesn’t understand that it’s the future, that it’s the future of our economy… He’s on the margins. He sent a message internationally – unfortunately – and nationally, with this original decision, which is “It’s not my thing”.
Starmer showed Labor would lead on climate and green jobs, as a central pillar of the party’s vision for the future, he added. In addition to aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2030, the party would create a national public energy company, GB Energy, and a wealth fund to invest in green technologies and green jobs.
“It’s central to our agenda because it’s the future of jobs, the future of the economy, lower bills, energy security and it’s the biggest issue we face as as country and world,” Miliband said.
Voices within the Conservative Party have raised doubts about net zero, he noted. “That means you’re saying we want to continue with more dirty, expensive fossil fuels for our energy system, not greener, cheaper renewable energy,” he said. “It’s not a winning position. Anti-net zero is a very beatable position.
For “the vast majority of people”, the climate was an “important issue”, he said. “What they want to know is that it can be done in a way that makes economic sense for us, especially when people are facing a cost of living crisis, and the overwhelming answer is yes. “, did he declare.
Labour’s plan for clean energy by 2030 would cut bills by £93billion, according to party analysis, through measures such as energy efficiency and home insulation schemes, Renewable energy stimulus includes more onshore wind farms and a one-off oil and gas excess profits tax. producers.
Miliband said promoting clean energy will also improve people’s health and quality of life. “We are a country plagued by terrible energy poverty, killing air pollution and a deep desire for big economic change,” he said. “As [US president Joe] Biden has shown that being a climate leader is an answer to all of these things.
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