Labour pledges 'green industrial revolution' with nuclear power and a digging over of allotment laws

Tom Clarke

Former Science Editor

The environment gets top billing in Labour’s manifesto.

The first chapter of their 150 pages of policy pledges is devoted to what Labour are calling a "Green Industrial Revolution".

While they’ve conspicuously dropped a conference pledge of a net zero carbon target by 2030, which most serious analysts warned was impossible to achieve anyway, like the Liberal Democrats and Green Parties they’re planning to borrow big to invest in a low carbon economy.

There’s a £250bn "Green Transformation Fund" to massively increase low carbon energy generation, warmer, lower carbon homes and promises to decarbonise heating in buildings — much needed if the UK is going to meet its existing climate change pledges.

In a notable departure from Liberal Democrat and Green manifestos, they promise to support nuclear power as a way of ensuring stable electricity supply on a future national grid dominated by wind and solar.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made the pledges as he laid out his manifesto. Credit: PA

In similar language to the Liberal Democrats, they promise to take on polluting businesses by "de-listing" from the London Stock Exchange companies that do not end their contribution to climate change.

It’s a bold political pledge and one we’ve not seen from the major parties before — but how will major mining and oil companies based in the capital respond to that?

Many of their green policies are multi-purpose.

Like the pledge for free bus travel for under-25s; a move bound to please younger voters whether they care about the environment or not, but also reduce emissions from cars.

Allotments could be revitalised under plans mooted by the Labour Party. Credit: PA

They promise to do better to protect wildlife too and encourage healthy eating by setting up a National Food Commission — designed to improve access to locally produced fresh food.

And then there’s one, which could originate from the desk of urban gardener Jeremy Corbyn himself - a promise to review the Allotments Act of 1908 to get more people growing their own.

Environmental groups have broadly praised Labour’s green ambitions but said some of its promises are vague, particularly around new road and airport building - and no clear position on the controversial HS2 rail link.