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Wed, 8 July 2020

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By Andrew McQuillan
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Labour backs radical plans to reduce Britain’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030

Labour backs radical plans to reduce Britain’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030
2 min read

Labour has backed radical plans to reduce Britain’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.


The target is far more ambitious than the Government, which has only promised to reach that point by 2050.

It would mean sweeping changes to energy production, public transport and personal travel.

The “Green New Deal” passed by an overwhelming majority at the Labour party conference in Brighton despite opposition from the GMB union, which said it would mean ditching petrol cars, rationing meat and only taking one flight every five years.

During the debate on the plan, GMB delegate Neil Derrick was booed as he said it would lead to "the closure of whole industries".

Business groups have also said “there is no credible pathway” to hitting the 2030 deadline.

Lauren Townsend, of the Labour for a Green New Deal group, welcomed the result of the conference vote.

She said: “Environmental breakdown is a class issue which requires working class solutions.

“The Labour movement has voted to take leadership on the climate emergency with a response which puts people and planet before profit.

“Now the ambition has been set, it is time for our movement to come together to build a Green New Deal from the ground up in every town, village and city.”

Unlike the GMB,  Unite, Unison and the Fire Brigade’s Union all backed the motion.

Laura Parker, national co-ordinator of Momentum, said: “Our party has united around a bold, socialist Green New Deal that will create tens of thousands of good, green jobs across the country, usher in a new era of public luxury for all and welcome climate refugees who have been forced from their homes. 

“In the face of a monumental crisis we must be bold and ambitious.

“We are the last generation who can stop climate breakdown and build a society that works for the many. And now Labour has a plan to do just that.”

And Greenpeace’s John Sauven said: “Net zero by 2030 will be extremely difficult, but it may the right date to aim for.

“If it can be done, it should be, and if it can’t, then missing the target by a few years, or even a decade, is still a far better outcome than hitting the government’s 2050 target, which is dangerously late.”

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