UK Labour Party Manifesto: We Will Take Energy Back Into Public Ownership, Drive Renewables

compiled by Michael O’Neil for TUED

The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn have released their 2017 manifesto for the June 8th General Election, entitled “For the Many, Not the Few.” The manifesto outlines policies of interest those dedicated to the movements for energy democracy and a just transition away from fossil fuels.

“CREATING AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR ALL”

In the section Upgrading Our Economy: Labour’s Industrial Strategy,it states that a Labour Government would ensure that “60 per cent of the UK’s energy comes from zero-carbon or renewable sources by 2030.” Under Widening Ownership of Our Economy, the document outlines how privatisation has led to higher prices and less democratic control for services working people depend on:

Many basic goods and services have been taken out of democratic control through privatisation. This has often led to higher prices and poorer quality, as prices are raised to pay out dividends. For example, water bills have increased 40 per cent since privatisation, and our private energy providers overcharged customers by £2 billion in 2015.

(…)

Across the world, countries are taking public utilities back into public ownership. Labour will learn from these experiences and bring key utilities back into public ownership to deliver lower prices, more accountability and a more sustainable economy. We will:

  • Bring private rail companies back into public ownership as their franchises expire.
  • Regain control of energy supply networks through the alteration of operator license conditions, and transition to a publicly owned, decentralised energy system.
  • Replace our dysfunctional water system with a network of regional publicly-owned water companies.

The final chapter of the first section is dedicated entirely to Sustainable Energy, outlining Labour’s “three simple principles”:

  • To ensure security of energy supply and ‘keep the lights on’.
  • To ensure energy costs are affordable for consumers and businesses.
  • To ensure we meet our climate change targets and transition to a low-carbon economy.

…with more details on the issue of ownership:

  • Take energy back into public ownership to deliver renewable energy, affordability for consumers, and democratic control. We will do this in the following stages:
    • Regaining control of energy supply networks through the alteration of the National and Regional Network Operator license conditions.
    • Supporting the creation of publicly owned, locally accountable energy companies and co-operatives to rival existing private energy suppliers, with at least one if every region.
    • Legislating to permit publicly owned local companies to purchase the regional grid infrastructure, and to ensure that national and regional grid infrastructure is brought into public ownership over time.

The manifesto commits to putting the UK back on track to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act and the Paris Agreement. On fossil fuels, the manifesto mixes pledges to ban fracking alongside support for “carbon capture and storage” and safeguarding “the offshore oil and gas industry”.

The party has aspirations for exporting low-carbon energy:

The low-carbon economy is one of the UK’s fastest-growing sectors, creating jobs and providing investment across each region. It employed an estimated 447,000 employees in the UK in 2015 and saw over £77 billion in turnover. With backing from a Labour government, these sectors can secure crucial shares of global export markets.

(photo from The Spectator)

By | 2017-05-17T15:40:40+00:00 May 17th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on UK Labour Party Manifesto: We Will Take Energy Back Into Public Ownership, Drive Renewables