In his new environmental manifesto , Jeremy Corbyn will announce he will be backing local energy suppliers to challenge the dominance of the ‘Big Six’. He is expected to pledge to create an energy policy “for the 60 million not the big six” which will include 30,000 new jobs in the sector. The new not-for-profit co-operatives would focus on renewables and have a “right to supply” energy directly.
Corbyn’s government would also reinstate the Department for Energy & Climate Change, which was scrapped by Theresa May – a move that Corbyn said was “short-sighted and irresponsible”.
A target of 65% of UK electricity from renewable sources will be set by 2030, in a bid to make the UK a leader in environmental technology.
A Labour Government will also call for an end to fracking, as “extracting gas is not compatible” with the UK’s climate commitments.
Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith said Mr Corbyn’s previous actions meant he lacked credibility on green issues.
Smith said: “It’s impossible for Jeremy Corbyn to speak with credibility on environmental policy.
“He’s called for the reintroduction of deeply damaging open-cast coal mining, only had one meeting with his shadow environment team in nine months as leader, and didn’t utter a word of protest when Theresa May scrapped the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
“By failing to campaign effectively for Britain to remain in the EU, and by calling for article 50 to be invoked immediately, he has put vital environmental protections at further risk.”
A ballot was held by the parliamentary Labour party to restore elections to the shadow cabinet, which was axed in 2011 by Ed Milliband to allow him to freely choose his team.
But the vote is not binding and the reform will need the backing of the national executive committee and the party’s conference before it can be introduced.
Owen Smith has said he backs the move, buy Corbyn’s team have said they would consider giving all party members a vote on how the shadow cabinet is made up.