Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to stop investing in new British oil and gas fields if Labour wins the next election.
The Labour leader, in a significant departure from the current government policy, ruled out any new investment in North Sea fossil fuels. He also outlined the party’s mission of going green.
Sir Keir addressed business leaders and policymakers at Davos’ World Economic Forum. He called for countries to create a “clean energy alliance” to challenge the Opec group, which consists of oil-exporting nations. Sir Keir stated that an alliance would lower energy bills, and stressed that Labour’s energy plan does not include fossil fuels.
@Keir_Starmer has vowed to stop investing in new British oil and gas fields if @UKLabour wins the next election. The Labour leader ruled out new investment in #NorthSea fossil fuels as he outlined the party's mission to go green #Davos23 https://t.co/cU9NbSnc3X pic.twitter.com/3wXSc3T9Bn
— Share_Talk ™ (@Share_Talk) January 20, 2023
He stated that oil and gas have been clear about the need for a transition. It will certainly play its role during that transition, but it is not a new investment or new field up the North Sea. Because we need net zero, we must ensure that we move next to renewable energy.
Sir Keir also criticized Rishi Sunak’s absence from Switzerland. He described his attendance with shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves in Switzerland as a “statement to intent” that Britain would “open for business” under Labour.
He said that the UK’s economic woes were due to Mr Sunak’s inability to create a growth strategy. He stated that “We have all the assets for investment. We just need to create conditions, the environment, in order to change what I believe is the drift.”
“The fact that our Prime minister is not here, I believe, is evidence of the drift. We intend to reverse this.”
Sir Keir and Ms Reeves will be using a 2-day charm offensive in order to meet top bankers at all of the major US banks. Sir Keir was seen at drinks hosted by Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JP Morgan, the most powerful US banker.
The Labour and Drax leaders met the pair as well as executives from Lloyds and HSBC British banks.
The shadow Chancellor was the last to complete the tour of senior business leaders. He attended Matthew Freud’s party, where Sting entertained the crowd.
The energy plans of Labour are a radical departure from the current policy. The UK just completed a new round of oil and natural gas exploration licenses. However, it has resisted joining an international pact that would stop the development of new oil and natural gas fields.
Sir Keir stated: “One thing that I am proposing” is a clean power alliance in which countries that are ahead when it comes to net zero share information, cooperate and invest with the goal of driving down global prices.
This is an inverse Opec. It’s not about trying to keep prices at a certain level. It’s about driving them down and seeing a common benefit.
The UK has promised to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions by net zero by 2050. However, the Kremlin’s conflict in Ukraine has revealed the UK’s dependence on foreign energy sources that have seen their prices rise.
Experts warn that the UK and other nations cannot afford to abandon fossil fuels.
Tharman Shanmugaratnam is Singapore’s top minister and deputy chairman for the sovereign wealth fund. He said that investment in all forms and energy was necessary to lower prices and ensure a smooth transition into cleaner energy.
He stated that “In the next thirty years, we will have to invest significantly more into all forms of energy: Dirty and especially clean energy.” We’ve under-invested and are paying the price. We’ll be paying the price in higher energy prices for at least a decade.
A separate panel of Davos participants heard Mr Shanmugaratnam say that “no scenario” (even the most optimistic) would give him confidence that renewables will be able to achieve the scale and urgency that we require.
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