I need to consider the politics of energy and climate change. I shall be looking at the politics inside the labour party but I should look at what the UK Government is saying. This was originally written when I returned from GMB 2019, augmented with GMB items in 2020 and then some links and comments made about Boris Johnson’s Green New Deal. One issue I still can’t get to grips with is, what does the science say about the future of gas as a source of energy in the home? Anyway, here are my notes, 

In the Autumn of 2020, Boris Johnson stealing the Left’s “Green New Deal” label made an announcement on the UK Govt’s programme to combat climate change. This was reported,

  1. https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/11/17/boris-johnson-sets-10-point-plan-get-uk-track-net-zero/
  2. https://www.carbonbrief.org/media-reaction-boris-johnsons-10-point-net-zero-plan-for-climate-change
  3. and the NAO response described its goals as a colossal challenge, reported by the BBC

The Guardian writes on the plan, the detail, and the gaps and criticism. The Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group also critiques the plan, in a post, “‘Green Industrial Revolution’? Not with this plan”.


Let’s start with some current posts, I found these first by googling around various keywords,

  1. FOE https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate-change/net-zero-emissions and the document, https://cdn.friendsoftheearth.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/Pathway-net-zero-greenhouse-gas-emissions-UK.pdf
  2. LFF https://leftfootforward.org/2019/05/momentum-says-labour-should-be-more-ambitious-on-climate-change/
  3. NEF https://neweconomics.org/2019/04/a-green-new-deal
  4. https://www.carbonbrief.org/whats-the-difference-between-natural-gas-liquid-natural-gas-shale-gas-shale-oil-and-methane-an-oil-and-gas-glossary, the site warrants checking out.

A just transition

The trade unions have developed a manifesto for fairness in transition.

  1. Just Transition, at Wikipedia; this includes a number of references, including a 2011 FoE report, and a 2014 Greenpeace Report. I have just edited this page.
  2. https://www.gmb.org.uk/news/how-secure-200000-energy-jobs
  3. http://unitelive.org/unions-low-carbon-economy-blueprint/
  4. https://livecms.unitetheunion.org/media/2141/just-transition-to-low-carbon-leaflet.pdf

The United Nations and global governance

  1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  2. IPCC report on measuring Greenhouse Gases
  3. The Kyoto treasty by investopedia


Momentum’s Motion on Climate Change

To see Momentum’s 2019 motion, press the button below.


GMB 2019 Motions

M208 A Just Transition

refers to https://www.gmb.org.uk/news/how-secure-200000-energy-jobs, also see above.

Autumn 2020

More on the GMB and the Gas industry,we seem to investing in the science

  1. Labour’s drive to retrofit homes must not rely on heat pumps
  2. Tory’s plan to ban gas boilers ‘ridiculous’
  3. GMB response to National Grid future energy scenarios, particularly interesting as it looks at national energy strategy

And an article at Bloomberg on the changing economics of Gas in the USA and President-elect Biden’s response.

Hydrogen Economy

What is the science and politics behind the “hydrogen economy”.

  1. https://londonlovesbusiness.com/trade-unions-bosses-back-uk-hydrogen-jobs-boom/
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-launches-plan-for-a-world-leading-hydrogen-economy and a comment from Carbon Briefing.
  3. Carbon Briefing do a for& against review.
  4. On Hydrogen, I found this, Hydrogen Fuel; Energy on the fabulous wikipedia.

Autumn 2021

There is what is maybe a short-term energy crises in the UK, caused by Brexit and leaving the common energy market, I made some notes which includes a note on current primary energy sources. I describe the change in energy source supply in this diagram;

Change in UK energy sources, 1990 – 2016, using an Open-Hi-Close-Low chart with two points. (Black is growth, white is decline.) Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_the_United_Kingdom

The TUC passed this motion on Just Transition, which I summarise as more nukes now, move towards the Hydrogen economy , invest in green manufacturing i.e. the infrastructure and clean steel. The driver for this is jobs which would be good. I say, “the original driver for nationalisation in the 40’s and 50’s was apart from workers/public equity that the private sector won’t invest such vast sums of money for such long term gain; the profit horizons are too far away.” We have that problem today it would seem.

I need to add the Labour Party motions.

The question of nationalisation of the top 6 UK providers is a current debate with Labour’s front bench resisting this. While some of what we need can be done through regulation,

Public money must buy [some form of] equity!

It seems we should talk of ‘reduced carbon‘ steel, not clean steel. These links were easily found,

  1. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/metals-and-mining/our-insights/decarbonization-challenge-for-steel
  2. https://www.carbonclean.com/blog/steel-co2-emissions

And now we have a price crisis/summer 2022.

I also wrote a blog article on the coming energy price hike. More can be found on the blog by searching on ‘energy’

What are we going to do? Here the GMB policies

  1. 2019 Energy and the Environment, this is quite long, public ownership, balanced supply chain, just transition, international co-operation, abolition of OFGEM, 2050 target, social tariffs, investment in low-carbon manufacturing, regional policy,
  2. 2017 Energy a CEC Special Report
  3. And the 2022 Policy Document

And Labour’s policy,

  1. https://fullfact.org/economy/labour-energy-bills-plan/
  2. https://labour.org.uk/issue/labours-plan-to-cut-bills/

GMB 23

It was once again debated, here is the electricity industry motion, critically arguing that UK industry is not and will not be ready for 2030.

7 Replies

  1. Today, I added some 2021 links from the TUC Congress 2021, and on the Hydrogen economy. I looked for some links that talk about UK renewable infrastructure manufacturing, and there doesn’t seem to be so much. Vespa (wind farm blades) closed 13 years ago and on a cursory review there seems to be one! solar panel manufacturer.

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