GMB slams Labour’s green power plans

  • GMB urges Labour to drop unviable pledge of net-zero electricity generation by 2030
  • Union claims plans could cause blackouts and power cuts
  • Group still backs Labour’s manifesto, despite concerns
Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary

The GMB tried to “persuade the Labour Party to drop its commitment to net zero electricity generation by 2030″ – Credit GMB

The GMB union has described Labour’s 2024 election manifesto net-zero goals as “unviable” and said they risk harming the UK economy.

The commitment to deliver 100% clean power to Britain by 2030 has been met with backlash, and the GMB said it could result in “power cuts and blackouts”.

At the annual GMB conference in Bournemouth, Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said it would be “a huge mistake to put all the nation’s eggs in one energy basket”.

The GMB represents over half a million workers, including those in the oil and gas industry, whose jobs would be threatened with the arrival of Great British Energy.

The unions claims that in 2023, it tried to persuade the Labour Party to “drop its commitment to net zero electricity generation by 2030 on the grounds that it was simply not viable”.

A motion passed at this year’s conference said that Sir Keir Starmer needs to “put before the electorate a viable plan” for net zero electricity generation.

“This is a critical issue,” the GMB’s motion said.

“The reputation of the Labour Party for competent government will be destroyed if there are avoidable power cuts and blackouts because the leadership didn’t heed the advice of the congress of a major affiliated energy union and a founder member of the Labour Party.”

“And if they were to achieve it, it would either be through enormous costs, or it would risk blackouts in this country.”

Despite doubts over the net zero plans, GMB praised the rest of Labour’s manifesto, saying it offers “a vision of hope for the UK”.

“Now is the time to make sure Labour wins the election and the legislation is delivered.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “Many people are paying far too much for their energy bills, businesses are paying far too much for their energy bills, because what we want is Great British Energy – as we say – a publicly owned company, that will not generate energy, that will rush towards renewables which will be cheaper.”

In response to the manifesto, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Claire Coutinho, said, “They [Labour] are pretending they can decarbonise the grid by 2030, a target which no other major economy has.

Starmer also described Coutinho’s claims as “utter nonsense,” and the “daily dose of desperation from the Tories”.

Written by:
Louise joined The Eco Experts as Editorial Assistant in April 2024. She is a talented artist who has a keen interest in solutions that lead to a more environmentally-friendly future.
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Max joined The Eco Experts as content manager in February 2024. He has written about sustainability issues across numerous industries, including maritime, supply chain, finance, mining and retail. He has also written for  City AM, The Morning Star and the Daily Express.
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