Karin Smyth MPs Pigeon Column :: January 2023

Bristol had a thriving and growing green sector. We had expertise and businesses who could lead not just the UK, but the world. This was an industry which should have been nurtured as it would have provided long-term, well-paid jobs and apprenticeships. Sadly, the Tory Government put in place measures to stall its progress. Indeed, figures show that if measures from the last Labour Government had been kept in place families would be £10,000 better off due to stronger economic growth.

Without a practical but radical plan for how we can develop world-beating new technologies or harness the power of green industry, Bristol will be left behind. Zero-growth is not an economic policy, it’s an acceptance of failure and stagnation. I choose to see climate change as the driver for new sources of jobs and investment. Go back 30 years and tell people that offshore wind farms would be one of the biggest sources of zero carbon energy for the UK and they would have laughed at you.

Individuals and businesses saw this opportunity and ran with it. The Government should have put its shoulder to the grindstone to help. Instead of importing windfarm blades from Germany with government support they could have been manufactured here. But it’s not too late.

Labour’s Climate Investment Pledge will transform our economy and follow the example set by the Labour Government in Wales by investing £28 billion of capital into the green economy for each and every year over this decade, with strategic public investment attracting private sector investment, bringing good, sustainable jobs to all parts of the country and protecting existing jobs as industries evolve and decarbonise. We will go further and faster on the green energy transition to bring down energy bills and deliver long-term energy security by taking on Conservative failures to build a strong renewable industry.

Insulating homes is the best way to bring down energy bills, which is why the next Labour Government would commit £6 billion per year capital investment from our Climate Investment Pledge to a ten-year project to upgrade the energy efficiency of every home that needs it. Going street by street, our locally-delivered programmes will bring down bills for households, and do so in a way that creates well-paid jobs in every region of our country.

Driving investment and clean growth means apprenticeships, jobs and better living standards. Bristol could and should be at the heart of Britain’s next green industrial revolution. A Labour Government will help us all unlock the technologies of tomorrow so that we can simultaneously cut carbon emissions, end the cost of living crisis and make the UK less dependent on other nations for our energy.