The Prime Minister was shamed into going to COP27. His eventual decision to attend was an embarrassing U-turn; a day trip to try to avoid embarrassment, not to provide leadership.
His initial snub, one of his first decisions as prime minister, was an act heard around the world. It said that Britain was shying away from showing climate leadership on the world stage.
Rishi Sunak just doesn’t get it when it comes to the energy bills and climate crisis. He is a fossil fuel prime minister in a renewable age. His record – of massive tax breaks for oil and gas giants, while blocking wind and solar power – shows he’s a friend of the fossil fuel industry, not renewables, leaving our energy bills higher and our country less secure.
The UN warned recently that the world is on course for a catastrophic 2.8C of warming, in part because the promises made at COP26 a year ago have not been fulfilled.
So COP27 is of course about tackling the worsening climate crisis. But it is also about energy bills, energy security, and jobs here at home.
The new truth is that tackling the climate crisis is the way to tackle energy bills crisis, because it is costly fossil fuels that are driving both. The only way through this is to go all out for cheap renewables like solar and wind, which are now nine times cheaper than gas.
That is why Labour has committed to a world-leading plan for 100% clean power by 2030, to cut bills, increase our energy security, create jobs and industries here in Britain, and lead the world in tackling the climate crisis – making Britain a clean energy superpower.
The truth is that there is a global race on for the jobs of the future – but under the Tories we won’t win it. Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan would establish a National Wealth Fund and GB energy, a publicly-owned energy company, to invest in the technologies and the jobs of the future – from green hydrogen to floating wind turbines, gigafactories to new nuclear, clean steel to tidal power.
A Labour Government would be using that leadership at home to provide leadership abroad, working to create a Clean Power Alliance, and working with the most vulnerable and the most ambitious to pressure the most polluting.
That means delivering on the UK’s promised climate finance, recognising the principle of loss and damage, and hardwiring climate action into the international system. Labour would return UK development spending to 0.7% of GDP to ensure that we can strengthen our energy security here at home by bolstering energy security abroad.
Britain should never be a country that absents itself from the world stage, particularly not when it comes to the climate crisis – the biggest long-term issue we face. Under a Labour Government, we would lead at home and abroad once again.
The Conservatives are not on the side of working people. Labour led the way in calling for the energy price freeze, and only our plan to make Britain a clean energy superpower by 2030 can cut bills for good.