Leaked Labour Manifesto Promises 'Leading Role' on Tackling Climate Change

Jeremy Corbyn

Update 17/05/2017: The full manifesto has now been published, and the key climate and energy promises are in line with the leaked version.

The UK is failing to tackle climate change and needs a Labour government to put the country “back on track”, according to a leaked version of the party’s 2017 general election manifesto.

The promises in the document, uploaded by political news and gossip website Guido Fawkes, match the party’s previous pledge to make “securing” the UK’s environment one of its key actions if it were to win the election on June 8.

According to the document, a Labour government would:

  • Put the UK back on track to meet its Paris Agreement climate targets
  • Ban fracking
  • Introduce a new Clean Air Act
  • Nationalise key parts of the energy sector
  • Prioritise access to the internal energy market and Euratom in Brexit negotiations

The text is not final, with the senior party figures due to discuss the manifesto later today.

Climate Leadership

The leaked manifesto makes clear that a Labour government would prioritise action on climate change.

According to the document:

Tackling climate change is non-negotiable, yet recent years have seen a failure to progress towards our targets. A Labour government will put us back on track to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act and the Paris Agreement. Building a clean economy of the future is the most important thing we must do for our children, our grandchildren and future generations.”

It goes on to say that Labour would:

… reclaim Britain’s leading role in tackling climate change, working hard to preserve the Paris Agreement and deliver on international commitments to reduce emissions while mitigating the impacts of climate change on developing countries”.

It said the Conservatives “broke their promise to be the ‘greenest government ever’”, and that in contrast Labour would “defend and extend existing environmental protections”.

It goes on to say that:

The Conservatives threatened bonfire of red tape, as part of Brexit, is a threat to our environmental protections and to the quality of our lives. Their record on combating climate change and environmental damage has been one of inaction and broken promises”.

It said a Labour government would “continue to work constructively with the EU and other European nations on issues such as climate change”.

Policies

The document outlined a number of policies it would implement to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

It said Labour would ban fracking, as not doing so “would lock us into an energy infrastructure based on fossil fuels, long after the point in 2030 when the Committee on Climate Change says gas in the UK must sharply decline”.

It nods to nuclear and carbon capture and storage technology, saying both will form part of its low carbon energy plan.

It also said a Labour government would “enforce the highest modern standards for zero carbon buildings”.

It promised to introduce a new Clean Air Act to “deal with the Tory legacy of illegal air quality”.

The document also revealed Labour’s plans to nationalise the energy sector, allowing it to “deliver renewable energy, affordability for consumers, and democratic control”.

It promised to regain “central government control of the natural monopolies of the transmission and distribution grids, and of responsibility for the policy and information functions of the regulator”.

It also pledged to set up “at least one publicly owned energy company in every region of the UK” and increase support for community energy cooperatives.

When it comes to the Brexit negotiations, it said a Labour government would “prioritise maintaining access to the internal energy market and will retain access to Euratom”.

It also accused Conservative MPs and Brexiteers of pushing to leave the EU to weaken regulations, including “environmental safeguards”. A Labour government “will never consider these rights a burden or accept the weakening of workers rights, consumer rights or environmental protections”, it said.

It also pledged to bring national rail back into “public ownership”, complete the HS2 rail line, create municipal bus companies, and listen to recommendations for upgrading the National Cycle Network. Those policies would “encourage and enable people to get out of their cars, for better health and a cleaner environment”, it said.

It said the party “fully supports” the Sustainable Development Goals, and pledged to use some of the £200 billion spent by national and local government “in the private sector” for environmental protection. 

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