The work would create an “anti-OPEC” alliance for renewable energy, says Miliband | Renewable energy

The UK under a Labor government would form an “anti-OPEC” alliance of countries dedicated to renewable energy to lower energy prices and promote clean technology, shadow secretary for climate change Ed Miliband said.

A clean energy alliance would allow countries to cooperate to procure components at a lower price, promote the expansion of wind, solar and other low-carbon energy, and potentially share or export electricity through grids. connected.

Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Costa Rica and Kenya are potential partners, and Miliband will garner further support at the UN climate summit COP27, which it has been visiting for several days. Labor is committed to achieving 100% low-carbon electricity by 2030.

“This potential clean power alliance is like an anti-OPEC,” said Miliband, referring to the group of oil producing countries. “I say anti-OPEC because OPEC is a cartel, a group of countries that work together to keep prices high. This would be a way for countries to come together to be the vanguard and say, “We will provide clean energy and it will help cut prices, not just for us but for others as well.”

He said the collapse in the price of renewables over the past decade was “the biggest source of optimism we all should have” about the climate crisis. “It is now cheaper to save the planet than to destroy it,” Miliband said in an interview with the Guardian at Cop27. “This is a message that we should be shouting from the rooftops, because the implications of that message are profound.”

Labor leader Keir Starmer has vowed to lift the current ban on onshore wind farms, which offer the cheapest form of renewable energy. Changes to the planning system under David Cameron have effectively prevented the construction of new onshore wind farms in the UK since 2015.

Labor would also cease to grant new oil and gas licenses in the North Sea. The Conservative government plans to grant more than 100 of these development and exploration licenses.

Miliband stopped pledging to revoke any licenses granted, but stressed that companies with exploration licenses need additional licenses to develop fields, which Labor would not grant.

He also wants three new nuclear power plants, in line with the opinion of the committee on climate change. Energy generation from biomass – by burning trees – should be “scrutinized”, he promised, to ensure it is environmentally sustainable and economically viable.

Miliband, who from 2008 to 2010 assisted the police as secretary of state for energy and climate change, accused the government of behaving like a “climate chameleon”. He pointed out that, since hosting the lauded COP26 climate summit, where nations agreed to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels, the government has returned – briefly – to fracking. , proposed a new coal mine, granted new oil and gas licenses, granted tax breaks for fossil fuels, maintained the ban on terrestrial wind, cut aid to poor countries, failed isolation, and then snubbed Cop27, until Rishi Sunak, the prime minister, made a U-turn and came for a day.

Alok Sharma, the government minister who chaired COP26, had done “important and commendable work,” Miliband said. “I am an admirer of Sharma, but he was undermined by a government that told people, ‘Do as we say, not as we do’. And this is a big problem. “

As a result, the UK has lost its position on the international stage, he added. “The problem is that the government made promises and then broke them, and that’s not a good basis for trust.”

Sunak’s original decision to snub the COP27 summit and prevent King Charles from attending was “extraordinary” and “embarrassing,” Miliband said. “You don’t have to be a climate nerd to understand that COP26 was a big deal and that we hosted COP26, and so COP27, where we were relinquishing the presidency, is also a big deal,” he said. “What if [more than] 90 world leaders are going, you know you should probably be there.

He said Sunak “just doesn’t get this program. He doesn’t understand that this is the future, that this is the future of our economy… He is on the edge. He sent a message internationally – unfortunately – and nationally, with that original decision, which is ‘This is not my thing’ ”.

Starmer had shown that Labor would lead the climate and green jobs as the central cornerstone of the party’s vision of the future, he added. In addition to focusing 100% on renewable energy by 2030, the party would create a publicly owned national energy company, GB Energy, and a capital fund to invest in green technology and green jobs.

“It is at the heart of our agenda, because it is the future of jobs, the future of the economy, lower bills, energy security and the biggest problem we face as a country and as a world,” said Miliband.

Rumors within the Tory party have raised doubts about the net zero, he noted. “What this means is that you are saying that we want to continue with more dirty, expensive fossil fuels for our energy system, not greener and cheaper renewable energy,” she said. “It is not a winning position. Anti-net zero is a very defeatable position. “

For “the vast majority of people,” the climate was a “significant problem,” he said. “What they want to know is that this can be done in a way that makes economic sense to us, particularly when people are facing a cost of living crisis, and the overwhelming answer is yes,” he said.

The clean energy work plan by 2030 would cut bills by £ 93 billion, according to the party’s analysis, through measures that include energy efficiency and home isolation programs, increasing renewable energy by including more wind farms on the ground and an unexpected tax on excess profits from oil and gas producers.

Miliband said pushing for clean energy would also improve people’s health and quality of life. “We are a country plagued by terrible fuel poverty, the killer of air pollution and a deep desire for major economic change,” she said. “How [US president Joe] Biden proved that being a climate leader is an answer to all of these things. “

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