Manifesto 2019:Green - Economy and Energy - Industry and Innovation

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Industry and Innovation


Averting climate catastrophe offers huge economic opportunities.

But Britain will only benefit from a Green Industrial Revolution with the right policies.

Over the past three decades, Britain has reduced its emissions at the expense of domestic industry by offshoring production. This is an accounting trick, not a solution. It does not protect the climate, is unfair to other countries and it damages jobs and communities at home.

Labour will take full responsibility for our carbon footprint instead of passing the buck. We will instruct the Committee on Climate Change to assess the emissions the UK imports as well as those it produces, and recommend policies to tackle them, including making UK industry the greenest in the world.

The Conservatives have presided over a lost decade of productivity and allowed Britain to fall behind in the green technologies of the future. Labour will make sure this never happens again.

Targeted science, research and innovation will be crucial to tackling the climate crisis, dealing with the plastic waste filling our oceans and addressing other societal challenges, such as an ageing population and antibiotic resistance. As part of our plan to usher in a Green Industrial Revolution, Labour will create an innovation nation, setting a target for 3% of GDP to be spent on research and development (R&D) by 2030. We will achieve this target by increasing direct support for R&D and reforming the innovation ecosystem to better ‘crowd in’ private investment.

We will establish a Foundation Industries Sector Council to provide a clean and long-term future for our existing heavy industries like steel and glass and fund R&D into newer technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.

A thriving steel industry will be vital to the Green Industrial Revolution. Labour will support our steel through public procurement, taking action on industrial energy prices, exempting new capital from business rates, investing in R&D, building three new steel recycling plants and upgrading existing production sites.

We will ensure that new technologies aren’t just invented here, but are engineered, manufactured and exported from here. We will put British innovation at the heart of our procurement to support local sourcing and reshoring, so that every investment we make strengthens our manufacturing and engineering sectors and supply chains and creates hundreds of thousands of good, unionised jobs here at home.

We will use the power of public procurement to strengthen local jobs and supply chains and will require all companies bidding for public contracts to recognise trade unions, pay suppliers on time and demonstrate equalities best practice.

As we transition, we will ensure the UK’s automotive sector isn’t left behind by the electric revolution by investing in three new gigafactories and four metal reprocessing plants. By supporting UK-made electrical steel we will ensure robust support for an end to end UK supply chain. We’ll also take on the global plastics crisis by investing in a new plastics remanufacturing industry creating thousands of jobs, ending exports of plastic waste and reducing our contribution to ocean pollution.

Labour’s progressive trade strategy will be aligned with our industrial strategy to help develop the industrial base needed to deliver high-quality exports and the decent jobs that go with them.

Labour will champion exports from the environmental goods and services sector, building on the 300,000 jobs that the sector already sustains. We will uphold the highest environmental and social regulations in all our trade relations, and will never downgrade standards as ‘barriers’ to trade.