Rebecca Long-Bailey has confirmed that Labour’s new manifesto will not drop the 2030 decarbonisation target, amid speculation that the ambitious aim approved by conference had been abandoned.
The ‘Clause V’ manifesto meeting held on Saturday did not result in the 2030 date being scrapped altogether, as Labour will still “set out a pathway towards net zero by 2030”, it has been clarified.
Long-Bailey tweeted: “We are a constitutional democratic party with its roots in the labour movement. Energy workers are understandably fearful and distrusting about the transition because they have been abandoned through past industrial transitions.
“We will only succeed by working with those workers and communities to develop a credible industrial strategy that ensures they will not be left behind by the transition.
“Our manifesto will set out a pathway towards net zero by 2030. I look forward to setting out these plans in more detail over this campaign. Nothing less than our collective future is at stake.”
When asked about Labour’s proposed deadline on Monday morning, shadow cabinet member Barry Gardiner told Radio 4: “The target that we’ve already committed to… is a net zero economy well before 2050.”
It has now been confirmed that Labour’s plans are more ambitious than portrayed by Gardiner during the Today programme. But changes were made when finalising the manifesto, The Telegraph has reported.
It is understood that the draft text of the manifesto committed Labour to making “overwhelming” progress towards the 2030 target whereas the final version says the party would make “substantial” progress.
In September, Labour conference approved a policy motion pledging to “work towards a path to net zero carbon emissions by 2030”, as well as to ban fracking, ensure a “just transition” and take transport into public ownership.
Commenting on the development, a spokesperson from Labour for a Green New Deal said: “We were pleased to see Rebecca Long-Bailey confirm Labour’s commitment to developing a pathway to net-zero emissions by 2030. This is what party democracy demanded, and we’re glad to see it upheld.
“Our campaign will continue to fight for full decarbonisation by 2030, in this election and beyond, working across the whole of the labour movement.
“Labour has already developed transformational plans to decarbonise our economy by 2030 and build a fairer, more prosperous society, from housing to energy and beyond. We look forward to seeing more bold climate policies in the manifesto on Thursday.”