Labour 'poised to water down 2030 carbon neutral target'
Labour caves to union bosses and ‘SHELVES target to make UK carbon neutral by 2030’
- Labour agreed at party conference ‘path to net zero carbon emissions by 2030’
- But 2030 target is believed to have been watered down after union opposition
- Labour will commit to making ‘substantial’ rather than ‘overwhelming progress’
Jeremy Corbyn is poised to water down a Labour target to make the UK carbon neutral by 2030 after opposition from union bosses.
Motions were adopted by Labour delegates at the party’s annual conference back in September which committed to working towards a ‘path to net zero carbon emissions by 2030’.
The Labour leadership has made much of its green credentials as it seeks to dominate the climate change issue ahead of the general election on December 12.
But the 2030 target has apparently been shelved amid concern from some in the Labour movement that setting a firm commitment would set the party up to fail should it win the election.
The Telegraph reported that the party’s election manifesto, due to be published later this week, will not include a cast iron guarantee that the 2030 date will be stuck to.
It will instead say that a Labour government will make ‘substantial progress’ towards the UK becoming carbon neutral by that date.
Jeremy Corbyn, pictured on the BBC yesterday, is believed to have agreed to water down Labour’s plans to tackle climate change
The policy is believed to have been watered down on Saturday as Labour chiefs met to hammer out the details of the party’s election manifesto.
Tim Roache, the head of the GMB union, reportedly demanded the existing wording be changed from ‘overwhelming progress’ to ‘substantial’.
Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn yesterday deleted a social media post which claimed only Labour would make the UK carbion neutral by 2030.
The post was apparently taken down after reporters asked the party to clarify the party’s stance on the issue.
Labour has made tackling climate change one of its key election promises in a bid to win over younger voters who may be tempted by the Green Party’s even more radical plans.
Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner appeared to distance himself from the 2030 target this morning.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We will have a power sector 90 per cent powered by renewables by 2030. That is absolutely in line with achieving the overall targets that we have set which is to make sure that well before 2050 we have achieved the net-zero which we need to do.’
He added: ‘The target that we’ve already committed to is to make sure that we have a net-zero economy well before 2050.’
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey set out Labour’s proposals for sweeping reform at the party’s conference in September.
She said Labour would bring about a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’, pumping billions of pounds into cleaner technology.
She said at the time that massive government intervention was needed to ‘rapidly decarbonise our economy and push aside decades of neoliberal policy to create the industries of the future’.
‘Quality, unionised, green jobs, a proper industrial strategy, public ownership of our water and energy, and intervention in the economy, to make sure that the technologies of the future are manufactured, assembled and installed here,’ she said.
Tim Roache, the general secretary of the GMB union pictured alongside Mr Corbyn in June 2016, is believed to have demanded the 2030 target be changed
Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary pictured at an event in Lancaster on November 15, said Labour needed to go ‘further, faster’ on climate change
‘But now we need to go further, faster and we need to ask who will really own the future the Green Industrial Revolution brings?
‘And this question goes right to the very heart of why we joined the Labour Party. If the height of our ambition is softening the ravages of unfettered capitalism and signing up to some watered down version of austerity. Well, we may as well all go home now.’
The party has pledged to introduce a Green Transformation Fund worth £250 billion over 10 years.
The money would be used to help the UK transition to a ‘sustainable economy,. energy and transport’.
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