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John McDonnell at the Labour Party conference in Brighton - pledging support for renewable energy.
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Britain will lead global low carbon revolution, claims Labour shadow chancellor

Brendan Montague

25th September, 2017

Britain will become 'world leaders in decarbonising our economy' claims John McDonnell at his speech to the Labour Party conference in Brighton today. And with Labour still ahead of the polls, his radical agenda for renewable energy could become government policy, reports BRENDAN MONTAGUE

Building an economy for the many also means bringing ownership and control of the utilities and key services into the hands of people who use and work in them.

"The storms and flooding sweeping the world in these last few months are yet another environmental wake up call", the shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the Labour party conference in Brighton today.

"This country has huge natural, renewable resources.  And we have an immense heritage of scientific and engineering expertise. Yet this Government has slashed the funding, the renewables industry needs to find its feet."

He added: "Labour will ensure we become world leaders in decarbonising our economy. With a publicly owned energy supply based on alternative energy sources.

Significantly broaden ownership

"Where the Tories have dithered and delayed, to deliver zero-carbon electricity, we will absolutely commit for example to building projects like the Swansea Tidal Lagoon."

The shadow chancellor reconfirmed the Labour party's pledge to nationalise the energy sector, alongside the rail networks and water utility companies. Royal Mail would also be renationalised.

He said: "Ours will only become an economy for the many, if we significantly broaden ownership. That means supporting entrepreneurs, small businesses, the genuinely self-employed and massively expanding worker control and the co-operative sector."

Taking them back

"Building an economy for the many also means bringing ownership and control of the utilities and key services into the hands of people who use and work in them. Rail, water, energy, Royal Mail: we are taking them back."

The latest polls from YouGov show that 42 percent of the electorate would vote Labour at a snap election - putting McDonnell in Number 11 as chancellor of the exchequre.

This compares to a 41 percent vote for Theresa May and the Conservatives, and a dysmal seven percent for the Liberal Democrats. A further 10 percent would vote for other parties.

This means there is currently a genuine prospect of Jeremy Corbyn forming the most radical Labour government in history - and delivering on the promises made today by McDonnell to transform the energy industry and make Britain a world leader in reducing carbon emissions. 

This Author

Brendan Montague is Acting Editor of The Ecologist website, and tweets at @EcoMontague.


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