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Labour’s green prosperity plan must be based on science and not global business interests says Naked Energy CEO

In a speech delivered to leading City financiers yesterday evening (Tuesday 19th March), Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said that a Labour government will focus on the environment in its plans for economic growth, but Naked Energy CEO Christophe Williams has responded that Labour must base its green prosperity plan on science, not global business interests.
Labour’s green prosperity plan must be based on science and not global business interests says Naked Energy CEO
Christophe Williams, CEO of Naked Energy.

The Shadow Chancellor said that if Labour wins the general election, she will reverse Jeremy Hunt’s decision to downgrade emphasis on the climate crisis. Ms Reeves added that Labour will be able to achieve both stability and higher growth only if it prioritises attempts to address the climate crisis.

“There can be no durable plan for economic stability and no sustainable plan for economic growth, that is not also a serious plan for net zero” Ms Reeves said. “Macroeconomic policy has an important role to play in our climate transition. Labour has already set out plans to require financial institutions and FTSE 100 companies to publish their carbon footprints and adopt credible net zero plans. Tonight, I can say more. I disagree with the current chancellor’s decision to downgrade the emphasis put on climate change in the remits for both Bank committees. So the next Labour government will reverse these changes, at the first opportunity.”

Last year, Jeremy Hunt downgraded emphasis on the climate crisis by removing it from four objectives for the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), which identifies systemic risks to the financial system. However, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and his predecessor Mark Carney both warned that climate change poses substantial risks to the financial sector, including the risk of fossil fuels becoming “stranded assets”. Mr Bailey subsequently informed a House of Lords committee that the Bank of England has scaled back its work on supporting the green agenda in response to Jeremy Hunt removing climate change from the FPC priorities.

“Labour is showing commitment to net zero policies, which is refreshing and positive” said Naked Energy CEO Christophe Williams. “However, what will really drive innovation in the private sector is their plan for a new long-term tax system and a pledge to not increase corporation tax throughout the next Parliament. This puts the wind in the sails of every business fighting climate change, and allows them to plan and grow more confidently.  

Labour’s green prosperity plan must be based on science and not global business interests. Billions has already been spent on electrification and carbon capture – but more needs to be done about tackling the problem of heat.  Heat makes up 51 percent of all the energy we consume on the planet and a staggering 90 percent5 of that still comes from fossil fuels. We don't have a hope in hell in reaching our net zero goals unless we decarbonise heat. There is no silver bullet to the climate crisis – the future government needs to create a level playing field and support lots of different technologies.”

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