Make Britain a clean energy superpower

Keir Starmer and Ed Miliband talking to each other at a port, wearing high visibility yellow coats.

How Labour will make Britain a clean energy superpower:

  • Set up Great British Energy to cut bills for good
  • Energy independence from dictators like Putin
  • 650,000 new high-quality jobs
  • Warmer homes to slash fuel poverty
  • Water companies forced to clean up our rivers

The climate and nature crisis is the greatest long-term global challenge that we face. The clean energy transition represents a huge opportunity to generate growth, tackle the cost-of-living crisis and make Britain energy independent once again. That is why clean energy by 2030 is Labour’s second mission.

The Conservatives have failed to grasp opportunities in this area for two related reasons. First, because they simply do not accept that economic growth, energy security, lower bills, and addressing climate change can be complementary. Second, because they are ideologically opposed to using the role of the state, including public investment, to guarantee that they are.

The damage done by 14 years of chaotic ‘sticking plaster’ policies was exposed when Putin invaded Ukraine. The cost of fossil fuel energy on the international market rocketed. The Conservatives’ ban on new onshore wind, failure to build new nuclear power stations, and decision to scrap investment in home insulation landed British families with amongst the highest energy bills in Europe. That is just one way we are paying the price. While countries around the world are racing ahead to claim the jobs and wealth that the transition offers, Britain is losing out.

But it is not too late to stop the chaos and turn the page.

We have tremendous untapped advantages: our long coast- line, high winds, shallow waters, universities, and skilled offshore workforce combined with our extensive technological and engineering capabilities. With a serious industrial strategy and a genuine partnership between the public and private sectors, we can make Britain a clean energy superpower.

Labour will take decisive action to seize this economic opportunity. We will shape markets, and use public investment to crowd in private funding. At the heart of our approach will be our Green Prosperity Plan where, in partnership with business through our National Wealth Fund, we will invest in the industries of the future. Our plan will create 650,000 jobs across the country by 2030.

We will end the chaotic Conservative chopping and changing on policy, harness clean power to boost our energy security, and invest in home insulation upgrades. We will save families hundreds of pounds on their bills, not just in the short term, but for good.

We will provide leadership at home so we can influence others to ensure every country plays their part in meeting our collective obligations to future generations.

At home we will also tackle the Conservatives’ nature emergency, including the unforgivable pollution of our rivers and seas. We will improve access to nature, promote biodiversity, and protect our landscapes and wildlife.

Labour understands the road ahead. We have been clear that this transition presents an opportunity to create good jobs, with no community left behind, and support well-paying jobs in existing and future industries. The Conservatives propose an alternative course. A denial of reality; delaying action; increasing costs for Britain; exposing us to insecurity; and a failure to win the jobs of the future. They tried this chaotic approach in the 1970s and 80s, and communities are still scarred by what happened. That is the choice facing Britain.

“A national mission for clean power by 2030 is achievable and should be prioritised. We desperately need to end the era of high energy bills, excessive carbon emissions and energy insecurity by accelerating the transition to clean, homegrown energy. Britain can lead on this by treating this mission like the vaccine challenge. We can be the innovators and the implementers, helping ourselves and exporting our solutions worldwide. But if we choose to go slowly, others will provide the answers, and ultimately we’ll end up buying these solutions rather than selling them.”

– Sir Patrick Vallance, Former Chief Scientific Adviser

Families and businesses will have lower bills for good, from a zero-carbon electricity system. We have chosen this mission not because it is easy, but because working people can never again be left vulnerable to dictators like Putin.

To deliver our clean power mission, Labour will work with the private sector to double onshore wind, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind by 2030. We will invest in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and marine energy, and ensure we have the long-term energy storage our country needs. A new Energy Independence Act will establish the framework for Labour’s energy and climate policies.

Labour will end a decade of dithering that has seen the Conservatives duck decisions on nuclear power. We will ensure the long-term security of the sector, extending the lifetime of existing plants, and we will get Hinkley Point C over the line. New nuclear power stations, such as Sizewell C, and Small Modular Reactors, will play an important role in helping the UK achieve energy security and clean power while securing thousands of good, skilled jobs.

Labour will maintain a strategic reserve of gas power stations to guarantee security of supply. We will ensure a phased and responsible transition in the North Sea that recognises the proud history of our offshore industry and the brilliance of its workforce, particularly in Scotland and the North East of England, and the ongoing role of oil and gas in our energy mix.

We will embrace the future of energy production and storage which will make use of existing offshore infrastructure and the skills of our offshore workforce. Labour will not revoke existing licences and we will partner with business and workers to manage our existing fields for the entirety of their lifespan. Crucially, oil and gas production in the North Sea will be with us for decades to come, and the North Sea will be managed in a way that does not jeopardise jobs. And our offshore workers will lead the world in the industries of the future.

We will not issue new licences to explore new fields because they will not take a penny off bills, cannot make us energy secure, and will only accelerate the worsening climate crisis. In addition, we will not grant new coal licences and will ban fracking for good.

To support investment in this plan, Labour will close the loopholes in the windfall tax on oil and gas companies. Companies have benefitted from enormous profits not because of their ingenuity or investment, but because of an energy shock which raised prices for British families. Labour will therefore extend the sunset clause in the Energy Profits Levy until the end of the next parliament. We will also increase the rate of the levy by three percentage points, as well as removing the unjustifiably generous investment allowances. Labour will also retain the Energy Security Investment Mechanism.

To drive forward investment in clean, home-grown energy production, Labour will create a new publicly-owned company, Great British Energy. It will be owned by the British people and deliver power back to the British people.

Great British Energy will partner with industry and trade unions to deliver clean power by co-investing in leading technologies; will help support capital-intensive projects; and will deploy local energy production to benefit communities across the country. To support this, Labour will capitalise Great British Energy with £8.3 billion, over the next parliament.

The company will create jobs and build supply chains in every corner of the UK. Scotland will be the powerhouse of our clean energy mission, with Great British Energy headquartered there.

Local power generation is an essential part of the energy mix and reduces pressures on the transmission grid. Labour will deploy more distributed production capacity through our Local Power Plan. Great British Energy will partner with energy companies, local authorities, and co-operatives to install thousands of clean power projects, through a combination of onshore wind, solar, and hydropower projects. We will invite communities to come forward with projects, and work with local leaders and devolved governments to ensure local people benefit directly from this energy production.

“I’ve never struggled this much to keep warm”

Gary, pensioner

Under the Conservatives, the broken energy market has let customers down. The government has allowed scandalous abuses on their watch, including poor customer service, companies going to the wall with the costs falling on billpayers, and the mass forced installation of pre-payment meters.

Labour will ensure a much tougher system of regulation that puts consumers first and attracts the investment needed to cut bills. Too much of the burden of the bill is on standing charges and we will work with the regulator to reduce them. We will strengthen the regulator to ensure it can hold companies to account for wrongdoing, require higher standards of performance, and ensure there is automatic customer compensation for failure.

The national grid has become the single biggest obstacle to the deployment of cheap, clean power generation and the electrification of industry. With grid connection dates not being offered until the late 2030s, important business and infrastructure investment is being stalled or lost overseas. Labour will work with industry to upgrade our national transmission infrastructure and rewire Britain.

Keir Starmer speaking on a factory visit, wearing a high visibility orange coat.

As Britain becomes a clean energy superpower, Labour is determined that we will create new high-quality jobs, working with business and trade unions, as we manage the transition. We will rebuild supply chains at home. And, as the first major economy to transition to a clean-energy system, we will export the technologies of the future.

Labour’s National Wealth Fund will directly invest in ports, hydrogen and industrial clusters in every corner of the country. We will also secure the future of Britain’s automotive and steel industries.

We will reward clean energy developers with a British Jobs Bonus, allocating up to £500 million per year from 2026, to incentivise firms who offer good jobs, terms and conditions and build their manufacturing supply chains in our industrial heartlands, coastal areas, and energy communities.

Labour will end the injustice of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme. We will review the unfair surplus arrangements and transfer the Investment Reserve Fund back to members, so that the mineworkers who powered our country receive a fairer pension.

Young male plumber sitting on the floor fixing a bathroom sink, seen from doorway.

The energy shock of recent years has highlighted the urgent importance of improving energy efficiency in British homes. Labour will invest an extra £6.6 billion over the next parliament, doubling the existing planned government investment, to upgrade five million homes to cut bills for families.

The Warm Homes Plan will offer grants and low interest loans to support investment in insulation and other improvements such as solar panels, batteries and low carbon heating to cut bills. We will partner with combined authorities, local and devolved governments, to roll out this plan. Labour will also work with the private sector, including banks and building societies, to provide further private finance to accelerate home upgrades and low carbon heating. We will ensure homes in the private rented sector meet minimum energy efficiency standards by 2030, saving renters hundreds of pounds per year. Nobody will be forced to rip out their boiler as a result of our plans.

Labour will save families hundreds of pounds, slash fuel poverty, and get Britain back on track to meet our climate targets. Our plan will mean good skilled jobs for tradespeople in every part of the country.

Labour’s first steps for change: Set up Great British Energy

British industry is also held back by high electricity costs, which has often made investing here uncompetitive. Labour’s clean energy mission will drive down those bills, making British businesses internationally competitive while our National Wealth Fund supports the most energy intensive sectors to decarbonise.

Labour supports the introduction of a carbon border adjustment mechanism. This will protect British industries as we decarbonise, prevent countries from dumping lower-quality goods into British markets, and support the UK to meet our climate objectives.

Labour will ensure the institutional framework for policy making reflects our commitments to reach net zero and meet our carbon budgets. The Conservatives’ decision to prevent the Bank of England giving due consideration to climate change in its mandates will be reversed.

Britain’s world-leading financial services industry has a major role to play in mobilising trillions of pounds in private capital to address the greatest long-term challenge of our age. Labour will make the UK the green finance capital of the world, mandating UK-regulated financial institutions – including banks, asset managers, pension funds, and insurers – and FTSE 100 companies to develop and implement credible transition plans that align with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.

Mother and child play together kneeling on the floor in a living room.

Preparing for the future not only means tackling the climate and nature emergencies, but also adapting to the changes they will bring to our environment. Without action, flooding and coastal erosion will pose greater risks to lives, livelihoods and people’s wellbeing. The Conservatives’ poor risk management, and a disjointed approach across government and regulators have left Britain badly exposed.

Labour will improve resilience and preparation across central government, local authorities, local communities, and emergency services. This includes formally working with all stakeholders in the Fire and Rescue services to inform policy and establish national standards.

Keir Starmer stands in front of some wind turbines at an on-shore wind farm near Grimsby.

The climate crisis has accelerated the nature crisis. Whilst Britain enjoys remarkable natural beauty, the Conservatives have left Britain one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Labour will deliver for nature, taking action to meet our Environment Act targets, and will work in partnership with civil society, communities and business to restore and protect our natural world.

As part of our plans to improve responsible access to nature, Labour will create nine new National River Walks, one in each region of England, and establish three new National Forests in England, whilst planting millions of trees and creating new woodlands. Labour will expand nature-rich habitats such as wetlands, peat bogs and forests so families can explore and wildlife can thrive, including on public land. Labour is committed to reducing waste by moving to a circular economy.

Keir Starmer talking and walking with a father and son beside the sea.

Britain’s coasts, rivers, and lakes are being polluted by illegal sewage dumping. The Conservatives have turned a blind eye and weakened rather than strengthened regulation, with serious damage being done to our countryside, our tourism industry, and people’s health.

Labour will put failing water companies under special measures to clean up our water. We will give regulators new powers to block the payment of bonuses to executives who pollute our waterways and bring criminal charges against persistent law breakers. We will impose automatic and severe fines for wrongdoing and ensure independent monitoring of every outlet.

Labour recognises that food security is national security. That is why we will champion British farming whilst protecting the environment. We will set a target for half of all food purchased across the public sector to be locally produced or certified to higher environmental standards. We will introduce a land-use framework and make environment land management schemes work for farmers and nature. And we will work with farmers and scientists on measures to eradicate Bovine TB, protecting livelihoods, so that we can end the ineffective badger cull.

Labour will improve animal welfare. We will ban trail hunting and the import of hunting trophies. We will end puppy smuggling and farming, along with the use of snare traps. And we will partner with scientists, industry, and civil society as we work towards the phasing out of animal testing.