Lisa Nandy grilled over Labour's green investment pledge
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Shadow foreign minister Lisa Nandy has been grilled on Labour’s green investment pledge on the Today Programme by Radio 4 presenter Amol Rajan. The Labour MP was pressed multiple times on who will end up forking the bill for the Labour Partys’ £28 pound green spending plan. Mr Rajan did not let the Shadow Foreign Secretary off the hook with repeated demands to know “who pays?!”
Mr Rajan asked: “You’ve got a green investment pledge, which is £28 billion worth. Who pays for that?
Ms Nandy replied “Well, the people who benefit from that are the British people because the road to net-zero is paved with a million climate jobs, these are clean energy jobs that could be going to places like Wigan where I’m an MP to Barnsley to Aberdeen.
“Places where once within living memory we powered the world through work in the coal mines, the steel industry, and we’ve seen huge economic decline.
“This is the opportunity for the Prime Minister not just to make good on his Global Britain ambitions to be a world leader in climate change, but to make good on his levelling up agenda and the promises that he made, as well and I think there is at least a consensus now that we ought to be investing in clean energy.
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“The problem is that in the last week, what we’ve seen from the Government is a very scattergun approach,” continued the Foreign Secretary.
“We had a budget last week just before delegates arrived in Glasgow that reduced the duty on domestic flights, this is one week before people arrived at the most important climate summit in a generation.
“We had a target for from the Prime Minister to get to zero deforestation by 2030, but yet the foreign secretary is still holding out on putting climate commitments into our trade deals.
“We may well do a trade deal with Brazil, will there be commitments in that trade deal to make sure that we’re not profiting from deforestation of the Amazon rainforest?
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Mr Rajan said: “Let me pick up the two of those points on the fly, it’s Lord Deben who’s the head of the Government’s Advisory Climate Change Committee who said actually it doesn’t make much difference the policy you are talking about, that’s contestable.
“On the question of whether or not there is explicit mention of temperatures in trade deals on Australia, Liz Truss the Foreign Secretary said that there is explicit mention of the Paris Agreement in our trade agreement with Australia and what’s more Australians have committed now to a mid-century, net-zero target.
“Can we please just come back to the question!?
“I asked you about your 28 billion pledge, your green investment pledge, the question I asked you wasn’t who benefits which is the question you answered, the question I asked was who pays?”
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Ms Nandy replied: “Well, we set up plans at Conference about how we would close tax loopholes that stop major corporations from paying their fair share in tax.
“We would use some of the money from the global minimum corporation tax which President Biden pushed for at the G7 which our Chancellor sadly dragged his feet on.”
Mr Rajan interrupted: “Do any individuals have to pay? Punters listening right now to normal, ordinary people have to pay?”
“No, look, I think this has been the problem with the climate debate for too many people for too too long,” replied the Labour MP.
“When they’ve heard us say we’ve got to take action on climate change, they’ve heard my energy bill is going up, my job in the industry is being lost, instead of hearing about the investment that should be going into places across this country that have seen 40 years of economic decline to ensure that our young people are designing the clean energy, and battery technology of the future, and the climate agenda is an opportunity and there are many countries that have seen that opportunity and seize that opportunity.”
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