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Labour conference: Sir Keir Starmer backs net zero electricity to boost growth

The Labour leader sets out plans to make the UK entirely free from fossil fuels by 2030.

Image source, Getty Images

Labour has set out plans to make the UK the first major economy in the world to generate all of its electricity without using fossil fuels.

Sir Keir Starmer says achieving zero carbon energy by 2030 will be a key priority if he wins the next election.

The Labour leader claims it will boost economic growth, create more than 200,000 jobs and and cut energy bills for good.

The government has already committed to zero carbon electricity by 2035.

But that pledge was made before the global spike in energy prices.

New prime minister Liz Truss has promised more renewable energy, as part of a plan to make the UK a net exporter of energy by 2040, ending the country’s dependence on foreign supplies.

But she has also announced plans to restart fracking and issue more licenses to drill for gas.

Labour has already unveiled plans to spend £28bn a year on making the UK economy more green.

But the party, which is gathering in Liverpool for its annual conference, believes it can win votes by promoting green energy as a way to generate economic growth, in contrast to Tory tax cuts for the well-off.

Sir Keir used colourful language at a fringe meeting on Saturday evening to attack the economic policies set out by Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.

Cutting taxes for the better-off to stimulate growth is attacked by critics as “trickle down” economics.

“It’s not trickle down, it’s taking the piss”, Sir Keir told party activists.

“You heard the chancellor yesterday (Friday). I didn’t agree with almost anything he said in that financial statement yesterday apart from his opening sentence, when he said there’s a ‘vicious cycle of stagnation’.

“He’s right about that and it’s their vicious cycle of stagnation. That is the verdict on 12 years of Tory government, a vicious cycle of stagnation and we need to hang that around their necks.”

He said it was good when “somebody who is caught red handed actually pleads guilty”.

Image source, Getty Images

Sir Keir, who will make his keynote speech to conference on Tuesday, is kicking off the week with a promise to turn the UK into a clean energy “superpower”.

Labour says it work with business to more than quadruple offshore wind power, triple solar, and double onshore wind by the end of this decade, while backing nuclear, hydrogen, and tidal power.

“Our plan for clean power by 2030 will save the British people £93bn off their energy bills and break the UK’s vulnerability to Putin and his cronies,” said Sir Keir.

“It will also support out drive for higher growth and rising living standards.”

Labour claim their plan would also “reindustrialise” the UK, by creating more than 200,000 direct jobs and up to 260,000 to 300,000 indirect jobs.

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