In terms of developing public policy, one of the most important debates at GMB Congress is the Energy Industry debate.

This, like all the others is on Youtube and focus on two composite motions, one calling for continued investment in Sizewell C and the nuclear industry as the only reliable zero-carbon generator source, and the other calling on an acceleration of the use and creation of Hydrogen. The latter motion makes the point that with Tories globalisation strategy, capability and jobs in the renewable sector are often offshored. It does not call for the reopening of the gas storage facilities closedby the privatised gas industry which it should because electricity cannot be stored at scale, gas can be if you have the storage capacity. Much of what it says in the Gas motion would make more sense in the context of a nationalisation or at least a mandatory national plan. The motions calling for nationalisation were marked existing policy and so not scheduled for debate.

The CEC qualified its support on three of the motions stating that it could not support words that suggested discrimination against migrants, (hooray), could not support policies in breach of the WTO trade rules, although would campaign/lobby to change them and that it considered OFGEM to be a flawed institution and asking for anything from them would be a waste of time and effort.

Earlier in the day, two motions (140 & 141) were debated. M140 calls for an integrated approach to tax and subsidy on generation and transport for low-carbon energy. It was compellingly moved by Adrian Stohr with a brave statement about the limits of incremental change today’s energy infrastructure. M141 calls for a renewables development authority and an economic plan to reduce carbon in steel manufacture. Again, it mentions the import of goods, and the export of jobs and tax spend.

GMB & the Energy Industry
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