GMB comments on Jeremy Corbyn speech
Investment in renewables welcome, but cannot lead to shut down of gas industry, says GMB.
GMB, the union for workers in energy sector, commented on the speech by Jeremy Corbyn Leader of the Labour Party on Saturday 10th February. See notes to editors for copy of the speech.
Justin Bowden, National Secretary for Energy, said:
"GMB welcomes the many positives in Jeremy Corbyn’s speech today on Labour’s future plans for energy.
"Amongst the many positives, GMB also counsels that Labour must give very careful consideration to ensuring that unintended consequences of those plans do not result in a shutdown of the gas industry or a halt to new nuclear, which are both essential in a balanced energy mix.
"GMB is fully behind the transition to renewables and everyone gets how renewable energy has an ever more important role to play. But we also need to heat homes, keep the lights on and the economy functioning. Unless and until there are technological breakthroughs in carbon capture or solar and wind storage, nuclear power and gas are the only reliable sources of energy for when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn’t blow."
"Gas is several times cheaper than electricity - over 80 per cent of UK homes use gas for heating. Access to gas is a key part of every fuel poverty strategy. Quadrupling the size of the electricity infrastructure and asking everyone with a gas boiler to rip it out and replace it with an electric one is a non-starter that hard pressed voters will not tolerate. Nor should we have to depend on Russia, Qatar or Kuwait to supply us with gas to heat our homes and supply industry."
Contact: Justin Bowden on 07710 631351, Stuart Fegan on 07912 890434 or GMB press office on 07958 156846
Notes to editors
1. GMB Special Report on energy (June, 2017): http://www.gmb.org.uk/assets/media/CEC-Energy-GMB17.pdf
2. Jeremy Corbyn’s speech on energy and climate change: https://labour.org.uk/press/jeremy-corbyn-speech-alternative-models-ownership-conference/