Labour party backs away from radical 2030 net-zero plans

Labour has abandoned plans to accelerate the UK’s net-zero emissions ambitions to 2030 and will instead stick to a goal of achieving it “well before 2050.”

Activists passed a motion at the party’s conference in September to dramatically speed up the date for net zero carbon emissions – pushing for inclusion in the general election manifesto.

But Barry Gardiner, Labour’s shadow trade secretary, said that 2030 target would apply only to efforts to decarbonise power production.

“What we will be doing is that we will have our power sector 90 per cent powered by renewables by 2030,” he said.

“That is absolutely in line with achieving the overall target that we have set to make sure that, well before 2050, we have achieved the net zero.”

Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, insisted on Monday that the party would remain on the “pathway” towards net zero emissions by 2030, in line with the conference motion.

Long-Bailey stated on Twitter: “Ours will be the most radical manifesto ever written, especially on climate.

“We are a constitutional democratic party with its roots in the labour movement. Energy workers are understandably fearful and distrusting about the transition because they have been abandoned through past industrial transitions.

“We will only succeed by working with those workers and communities to develop a credible industrial strategy that ensures they will not be left behind by the transition.

“Our manifesto will set out a pathway towards net zero by 2030. I look forward to setting out these plans in more detail over this campaign.”

Labour for a Green New Deal, which brought the motion, said it was happy with Long-Bailey’s pledge of a pathway towards net zero by 2030 and confident that the leadership was supportive of strong action on the climate crisis.

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