Ed Miliband: “The drive for green energy is not some climate luxury”

Ed Miliband has told Andrew Marr that: “green energy is not some climate luxury, it’s actually an energy bills necessity”.

Speaking on LBC’s Tonight with Andrew Marr last night, Miliband – who is the shadow secretary of state for climate change and net zero – was discussing this week’s damning annual progress report from the Climate Change Committee, which highlighted that the UK is way off course to meet its net zero targets.

Miliband, who set up the committee 15 years ago, said: “The government hasn’t learnt the fundamental lesson of the last eighteen months, which is as long as we’re dependent on fossil fuels, we’re subject to the grip of the Putin’s of the world and the petrostates because they manipulate that market.”

He also said that the report was a “damning indictment” of the government who he said “don’t believe in investing”.

“When you see what Biden is doing in the US, there’s this global race for jobs and the Climate Change Committee points out that we are losing this global race,” Miliband told the veteran broadcaster.

“Because we are not investing in hydrogen and hydrogen capture and off-shore wind and all of those things – and I say a Labour government would put those two things right.”

Former UK Conservative cabinet minister and current environment APPG chair Chris Skidmore told Andrew Marr: “When it comes to the energy transition to net zero we’ve got to be able to set out long term and certain plans for people around how we are going to move to electric cars, how we’re going to move off gas boilers.”

He added that, “Actually net zero is the solution to lower costs, it is not costing households”.

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Also reacting to the news, former Green Party leader and co-leader Caroline Lucas said in a statement: “This report leaves dead in the water the government’s outrageous claims that new climate-wrecking oil and gas is necessary before we reach net zero.”

“Locking ourselves into new fossil fuel expansion is unjustifiable when the benefits of a zero-carbon economy are there for the taking”.

Campaign groups also commented on the report’s findings. WWF UK said on twitter: “Our government says its committed to its climate targets, but real progress is worryingly slow. We need urgent, immediate action if we’re going to bring our world back to life.”

Friends of the Earth head of policy Mike Childs said: “Today’s progress report is a damning assessment of the government’s new carbon reduction strategy. Its own advisers say there are now only credible plans for less than a fifth of the emissions cuts needed to meet the UK’s legally binding targets.”

Greenpeace UK tweeted: “UK government has lost its climate leadership status, says government report. We all knew it but now they’re saying it themselves.”

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