Labour has announced that in government it would tax oil and gas companies to create a ‘just transition fund’ as part of its ambition to kick-start a green industrial revolution.
Jeremy Corbyn made clear at the manifesto launch on Thursday morning that Labour wants to create a green economy without placing the burden of costs on the shoulders of ordinary workers.
The Labour leader confirmed at the event in Birmingham that the party believes “it isn’t fair to heap the cost of the climate emergency onto the nurse, the builder or the energy worker”.
To avoid doing that and instead ensure a ‘just transition’, Corbyn explained that “the big oil and gas corporations that profit from heating up our planet will shoulder the burden and pay their fair share”.
Labour’s new windfall tax will be used to create a ‘just transition fund’ that will provide an expected £11bn support package for nearly 37,000 oil and gas workers, the 126,000 people in jobs dependent on the sector and their communities.
Speaking at the manifesto launch, the Labour leader said: “We can no longer deny the climate emergency, we can see it all around us, as the recent floods in Yorkshire and the East Midlands have shown.
“We have no time to waste. The crisis demands swift action, but it isn’t right to load the costs of the climate emergency onto the nurse, the builder or the energy worker.
“So a Labour government will ensure the big oil and gas corporations that profit from heating up our planet will shoulder and pay their fair share of the burden with a just transition tax.
“North Sea oil and gas workers have powered this country for decades, often working under dangerous conditions. We won’t hang them out to dry. This fund will safeguard a future for their skills and communities with new careers and secure, well-paid jobs.”
The just transition fund will also be used to pay for a programme of investment and retraining across the UK, which will help to deliver Labour’s ‘green industrial revolution’ with the aim of decarbonising the economy.