As Extinction Rebellion enters the fourth day of its high-profile campaign, the Labour Party has revealed its 10-year plan to radically expand offshore wind to help tackle the climate emergency, create new, good unionised jobs and invest in coastal communities.
As part of the Green Industrial Revolution we’ll introduce a dramatic fivefold increase in the UK’s offshore wind capacity, with 37 new wind farms.
This new investment – drawn from a combination of public and private sources and worth £83 billion over 10 years – is estimated to create more than 67,000 new jobs across the country and provide enough electricity for 57 million households, replacing the need for 38 coal power stations.
As well creating new jobs and clean energy, the investment will further directly benefit the public, with a 51% public stake in all new offshore wind farms. A fifth of the public’s profits from new offshore wind, estimated between £0.6 and £1 billion per year, will be invested directly into held-back coastal communities to create a new generation of harbour fronts, parks, leisure centres and libraries. The remaining 80 per cent of public profits will be reinvested into decarbonising the economy, tackling the climate emergency head on.
As scientists and activists have made clear, we need immediate and radical action to have any hope of keeping temperature rises to a manageable level. Under Labour the massive expansion in offshore wind will be financed through joint venture partnerships between publicly-owned Regional Energy Agencies (REAs) and existing offshore wind developers. Labour will make the Regional Energy Agencies powerful industrial actors – learning from the success of public companies across Europe. As well as offshore wind, the REAs will own and run our electricity and gas distribution networks, install solar on 1.75 million homes, and deliver a mammoth electric charging expansion for electric vehicles.
Tackling the climate emergency is not only the biggest challenge of our generation – it’s also a huge opportunity to invest in British manufacturing and our industrial communities that have been held back under the Tories.