Reeves announces £8bn “national wealth fund” for green investment

Kieran Maxwell

Rachel Reeves has set out plans for new green infrastructure including “clean” steel plants, battery factories and “renewable ready” ports funded through a ‘national wealth fund’ amounting to £8bn.

In a speech to the 2022 Labour Party conference on Monday, the Shadow Chancellor is expected to tell delegates that “when I say I want to buy, make and sell more in Britain I mean it”.

Under the plans outlined today, the party will create a new wealth fund meaning that the state retains a share in the renewable assets in which it invests. The party hopes that the initial capital provided by the government for these projects will attract further private investment.

“The next Labour government will create a national wealth fund so that when we invest in new industries, in partnership with business the British people will own a share of that wealth and the taxpayer will get a return on that investment,” the Shadow Chancellor is expected to say.

Labour has stressed that the plans will benefit every region of the country. £2bn will, for example, be spent on eight new ‘gigafactories’ in the West Midlands, the North East, the North, West and the South West.

According to the party’s plan, £3bn will be spent on six new clean steel plants Cardiff, Rotherham, Sheffield, Port Talbot and Scunthorpe. £1bn, to set up net-zero industrial clusters, will benefit Grangemouth and South Wales, as well as the Humber and Teesside and Merseyside, Southampton and the Peak District.

Last year in her Conference speech Reeves announced £28bn of funding for “capital investment in our country’s green transition for each and every year of this decade.”

Reeves announced, last year, a commitment to invest £28bn in a green transition. Keir Starmer outlined on Sunday how the party would turn the UK into a “clean energy superpower” and end the use of fossil fuel in the country’s power system.

Starmer said the party would invest in a “green prosperity plan”. The party aims to invest in renewable energy infrastructure, creating a self-sufficient, zero-carbon energy system by the end of this decade in a move it says will see the amount of onshore wind double, solar triple, and offshore wind quadruple.

Labour’s Shadow Climate Change and Net Zero Secretary, Ed Miliband, stressed that Labour’s plan will create jobs: “It is time to take back control of Britain’s economic destiny by making sure that we build the industries of the future in our towns and cities. An economy by the many for the many.

“This is about good jobs that pay well, with strong trade unions, and with money that flows back into the pockets of the British people.”

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