Ed Miliband has today pledged that Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan will be a British version of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act – investing in good, clean energy jobs that will rebuild Britain’s economy.
Following on from Keir Starmer’s recent announcement that a central mission of the next Labour government will be to make Britain a clean energy superpower, Miliband will set out how Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan will deliver a multi-billion investment by government and businesses to drive jobs in green industries, anchored by the commitment to GB Energy, Labour’s publicly owned energy generation company.
Labour say that the Inflation Reduction Act is reshaping green industry around the world, with game-changing investment in new green investment and jobs. But inaction by the Conservative Government, with its natural assets and industrial heritage is in danger of falling behind and missing out.
Speaking to an audience of leading businesses and experts, Mr Miliband described the risk to British jobs if the UK continues with current policy by saying:
“What we have seen from the UK government is the actions of a group of people caught in the headlights. Kemi Badenoch dismisses the Inflation Reduction Act as “protectionist”. Our current Energy Secretary Grant Shapps calls it “dangerous”. The Chancellor dismisses it too.
“I profoundly disagree with this approach. As the US and Europe speed off into the distance in the global race for green industry, we are sitting back in the changing rooms moaning about the rules. Sore loser syndrome won’t win any jobs for Britain.
“We need to stop moaning about the Inflation Reduction Act and start matching its ambition.
“Of course, we must remain an open economy, welcoming foreign investment and goods. Not everything in the green economy could or should be produced here. But we are not neutral about where things are built.
“Joe Biden wants the future Made in America. We want the future Made in Britain.”
Mr Miliband set a contrasting vision, saying Labour will provide the partnership, investment and certainty that businesses need to invest in the UK, and how, with this approach, Britain can win the global race for good jobs:
“Now some people, not just in government, will say we cannot compete with Inflation Reduction Act. How, they say, can we compete with the United States with its population five times ours and its huge financial firepower? And throw in the EU and China and they say we need to get real.
“But such defeatism is not just pessimistic but plain wrong.
“It misunderstands the reality of the scale of the opportunity presented by the biggest transformation of the global economy in 300 years. And it deeply misunderstands our unique potential as a country to compete and win in this green revolution that has begun.”
He also set out the key elements of Labour’s response to the Inflation Reduction Act saying: “2030 zero carbon power to cut bills, provide energy security, create jobs, tackle the climate crisis and give clarity to investors.
“Action to break down the barriers in planning and grid, including a net zero mandate for every key regulator
“A new national wealth fund to invest in partnership with the private sector
“GB energy, our new publicly owned energy company.”
Responding to those who say that Britain cannot succeed in green industries, he pointed to the legacy of the last Labour government in putting the UK at the forefront of the global transition, and to the UK’s natural advantages in clean energy.
“In the world which is coming, it is no exaggeration to say wind power will be what coal was for previous generations”, he said.
“Our island status and the North and Celtic Seas give us a unique position therefore.”
He will emphasise the importance of Labour’s landmark commitment to establish GB Energy, a new publicly owned energy company, and challenge those who say that Britain cannot be ambitious:
“This country needs change. GB energy is a vital part of this change.
“Every real leader in zero carbon power has a national champion: EDF in France, Statkfraft in Norway, Orsted in Denmark, Vattenfall in Sweden.
“It’s time we had ours.
“In years to come, it will seem absurd that Britain had no public clean energy champion to deliver jobs and wealth as so many of our competitors do. A Labour government will and it will have a clear mission: to build clean energy and do it in Britain.”
Mr Miliband’s speech comes before the government’s fifth energy relaunch in two and a half years and just days before a legal deadline for the UK government to update its Net Zero Strategy. The High Court decided last year that the strategy was unlawful, with a lack of specific policies to demonstrate how the UK would meet its climate targets.