This statement was delivered by TUED unions to the Labour Party energy shadow minister Alan Whitehead in the days following the announcement of the general election:
With the announcement of a general election for 8th June, UK trade unions participating in Trade Unions for Energy Democracy are calling on the Labour Party to include a manifesto commitment to extend public ownership and democratic control to UK energy.
UK TUED unions welcome initial Labour Party proposals for energy transition and a vision for energy democracy based on new forms of public and community ownership, putting climate change and social justice at the heart of industrial strategy. This now needs to form part of a clear manifesto commitment to reclaim energy back to the public sphere. Labour should set out an ambition for new affordable, low carbon energy system that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, always emphasising the massive opportunities to create secure, skilled unionised jobs for communities across the UK.
- Public control of transmission and distribution system, reversing privatisation of the national grid. Labour should focus on new ‘energy democracy’ models including community and municipal ownership, which include creating secure, skilled unionised jobs for communities across the UK.
- Support and financing for both public and community-owned renewable energy generation including developing domestic wind, solar and tidal power, and which supports decentralised local and regional energy programmes, creating tens of thousands of skilled jobs across the UK.
- National moratorium on fracking and other unconventional forms of fossil fuel energy extraction that destroy the countryside and threaten contamination or loss of agriculture land and water sources, based on the pre-cautionary principle and that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions,
- Mass programme of action on energy efficiency and measures to combat fuel poverty including insulation and retrofitting of the UK’s aging housing stock and public buildings, and new energy efficient social housing.
- Work with trade unions and environmental campaigners in Europe and internationally with municipalities, regions and national governments to promote and develop new ways of generating and managing energy.
- Return UK railways to public ownership, both accessible and affordable, including massive extension and electrification of the network creating 1000s of new skilled and unionized jobs.
- Ten year industrial plan developed in full consultation with trade unions to radically increase the fleet of electric cars manufactured in the UK.
- National infrastructure priority to install public network of electric vehicle charging points across the UK.
- Reinstate a system of publicly owned local low carbon/electric buses operated and owned by local councils run as a public service rather than for profit.
- Large scale extension of publicly-owned national bus network and dedicated motorway lanes for intercity bus travel.
- Ensure transport planning and investment is driven by health and climate considerations, to drive reductions in air pollution and increases in active travel modes (walking and cycling)
- To establish a statutory Just Transition ‘Commission’ with equal representation from trade unions and other bodies to oversee an energy transition and other forms of economic restructuring to ensure workers and communities are protected through processes of change and provide the maximum benefits from new employment investment.
- Development of industry pathways to transition workers into new local carbon, sustainable work in consultation with trade unions including in skills matching and retraining requirements.
- Provision of social protection funds to safeguard livelihoods of workers and communities in transition.
- Hypothecated tax on carbon to fund transition programme.
- Creation of one million climate jobs that lower greenhouse gas emissions including in energy efficiency and mass programme of insulation and retrofit of housing and public buildings.
- Investment in extreme weather disaster preparedness including in increased health or property risk as a result of climate change e.g. from heat; flooding.
- Flood risk management and statutory duty on Fire and Rescue Services