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Labour's Green New Deal Explained

Labour’s manifesto for real change is, as expected, full of positive and forward-thinking policies that will tackle the current climate crisis head on and protect our environment, while boosting our economy and taking our historical responsibility to the global south into account. 

So full is the manifesto, that it can actually be hard to take in all the green policy goodness. If, like many people, the climate emergency is at the top of your agenda, it is important that you know what Labour is offering, and that you are able to take these brilliant policies out on the Labour doorstep and speak to people as many people as possible in your communities about them. To that end, we have scoured the manifesto for you, pulled out as many green policies as possible, and compiled them into what is hopefully a few spirit-lifting and easily digestible chunks.

Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution will create one million green jobs and 886,000 climate apprenticeships in the transition to a low carbon economy. This will be supported by the introduction of a National Education Service, providing cradle-to-grave education for all, free at the point of use, which will help people to reskill for the new, low-carbon economy we need to be working towards. 

The launch of a National Transformation Fund is further proof of Labour’s commitment to our planet, with £250 billion ringfenced for investment in green industry, and in tackling climate change. The promise of an Electric Vehicle Revolution, which will safeguard 186,000 jobs and create 32,000 new ones in automotive manufacturing hubs, will give a boost to communities currently struggling after deindustrialisation, while making our transport systems greener. 

Under Labour, local authorities will be encouraged to take bus services into public ownership, allowing them to run a greener, more reliable and cheaper service, and to reinstate 3,000 bus routes that have been stopped under the Conservatives, benefiting rural communities who have been the worst affected by these cuts. 

The immediate introduction of free bus travel for under-25s will further encourage more people to use public transport, and free bus travel for the over-65s will be protected too. 

All new vehicle sales will have to be of electric vehicles by 2030 under legislation that a Labour government will introduce and the creation of community car clubs, with an all-electric vehicle fleet, will encourage vehicle sharing, help to tackle inequality and cut emissions. In a move to control extortionately high and increasingly soaring rail fares, and to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon rail system, Labour will return the railways to public ownership. They will also deliver Crossrail for the North, greatly improving services and connectivity between northern communities.

Labour’s "Warm Homes for All" plan will create 450,000 jobs by installing energy saving measures such as loft insulation and double glazing – renewable and low carbon technologies – in almost all of the UK’s 27 million homes, bringing them all to the highest efficiency standards. This will be the largest scale upgrade of housing seen in this country since post-war reconstruction. Energy bills for 9.6 million low-income households will be reduced by around £400 a year under Labour, in an effort to eradicate fuel poverty. As things stand, an estimated 3.5 million people in the UK can’t afford to properly heat their homes and 10,000 lives are lost every year due to fuel poverty; a majority of whom are elderly.

The party’s People’s Energy Plan will build 37 new offshore wind farms – 51 per cent of which will remain in public ownership – and will directly reinvest profits; 20 per cent into the coastal communities which host the wind farms and 80 per cent to fund energy transition and positive climate action. 

To help pay for the transition, and to fund a "just transition fund" which will be used to retrain 37,000 workers, Labour will introduce a Just Transition Tax on oil companies who have knowingly profited from climate change. 

Enough solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches will be fitted to properties across the UK, including to 1 million social homes to provide free household energy. The National Grid and supply arms of the Big Six energy companies will be brought into public ownership to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, end profiteering and tackle rising energy bills (as covered above). Lastly, on the topic of energy, Labour’s stance on fracking is clear: it will be banned, permanently, with no caveats or tinkering around the edges.

In terms of biodiversity, animal welfare and the natural environment, Labour have, yet again, gone above and beyond in this manifesto. They will introduce a Climate and Environment Emergency Bill, setting out in law binding standards for nature restoration, rewilding, environmental quality and conservation, in addition to decarbonisation. 

Alongside this, they will set legally binding targets with a Plan for Nature for the restoration of species and habitats to tackle the biodiversity crisis and aid in the drawing down of carbon and increase funding to Natural England by £75 million to manage recreational access and nature restoration, ensuring everyone has access to nature. An animal welfare commissioner will be introduced, the import of hunting trophies for threatened species will be banned, as will the badger cull and fox hunting.

To end the disgraceful rise in foodbank use and ensure everyone has access to healthy, nutritious and sustainably produced food, Labour will introduce a Right to Food. They will ensure agricultural and rural funds are in place to support environmental management and sustainable food production, with a target of net zero agriculture by 2040. Labour’s investment in county farms will replace those lost and ensure existing farmers are worked with to increase access to farming for new entrants.

Spending on international climate finance will be increased to a total of £4 billion a year and transfers of the products of the Green Industrial Revolution will be provided free or at a low cost to developing countries to aid in their green energy strategies, acknowledging that a global effort is needed to take on the climate crisis. Financial support for fossil fuel production though aid spending and UK Export Finance will be ended and redirected instead to clean, renewable, energy investments. Lastly, Labour will stand its ground and reject any trade agreement that violates its climate principles or undermines worker or environmental protections.

Lauren Townsend is spokeswoman for Labour's Green New Deal.

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