Fighting Climate Change

– Make South West Wales a global leader in floating offshore wind

– Fight for our share of Labour’s £28bn/year investment plan

– Make the Celtic Freeport work for local people*

– Massive investment in skills and transport infrastructure, to make sure no community is disadvantaged under the green transition

The climate emergency is intensifying. From coastal erosion, wildfires, floods and heatwaves … we can feel it happening here in South West Wales: but in parts of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa the effects are already devastating for millions of people.

Yet it’s not too late to act.

Labour has pledged to spend £28 billion a year for a decade – taking the carbon out of our electricity system by 2030. Done right, that could trigger the smart, green reindustrialisation of Britain, providing tens of thousands of decent jobs and cheap electricity.

Offshore wind will be critical to that, and in South West Wales we have the potential to be part of a globally significant project – securing the future of Milford Haven and introducing green steel production at Port Talbot steelworks at the same time.

If selected, I will make it a priority that investment in floating offshore wind generates well-paid jobs, training, transport upgrades and new business opportunities for people here.

Having a Labour MP, who knows industrial strategy and community wealth building from the inside, will be critical to that outcome. So will the active engagement of Labour members and trade unions. I’ve spent decades doing just that.

In the journey to zero net carbon, we have to take all communities with us. The “just transition” can’t be merely a phrase.

That’s why I’ve signed the call for a fossil-fuel non-proliferation treaty: so that we commit all countries to ending investment in new fossil fuel extraction at the same time – so that UK oil and gas communities do not lose out to unfair competition.

To reduce household bills I want Labour to nationalise the energy retailers as proposed by the TUC. I support Labour’s call for a bigger windfall tax on the oil and gas giants.

To achieve a carbon-free electricity system we need to take the National Grid into public ownership, or at the very least a controlling public stake, and reconfigure it as a network that takes renewable-generated electricity from homes, small solar sites, nuclear – at small scale and large – and a renewed onshore wind sector. We also need to build zero net carbon priorities into the energy planning system.

At the same time we’ll need more investment locally in flood defences, water conservation, coastal adaptation and fire and rescue services to cope with the extreme weather events associated with climate change.

The key to making it happen is money: borrowing to invest, taxing wealth, stopping up the loopholes in the tax system, and a major increase in the block grant from Westminster to Wales. Let’s make it happen.

* I’ll have more to say on the Celtic Freeport when we know if it’s got the go-ahead, in the March 2023 Budget

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