UK: Why Labour is putting energy reform at the heart of its green agenda

Source: The Guardian

No issue better connects the environment to people’s lives than energy. In order to deliver clean, affordable electricity we need to change our undemocratic system of supply

We are on course for a climate catastrophe. 2016 is set to be the hottest year on record. Unless the Paris agreement’s target of limiting the rise in temperatures by 1.5C is met, heatwaves like that in 2003, which killed tens of thousands of people in Europe, will become the norm. And that is before considering rising sea levels and desertification that will sink cities, and kill and displace millions, or the fact that the Earth has already lost half its wildlife in the past 40 years.

The task for politicians is to propose real solutions to the single most important issue facing humanity. Too often, the environment is considered a matter for scientists, enthusiasts and activists. To increase public understanding and energise the political debate, we need more than facts – we need a programme that resonates with people’s everyday experiences, offering not just warnings but opportunities and improvement.

No issue better connects the environment to people’s lives than energy. In Britain today, seven million households struggle to pay their bills because of spiralling costs, while the big six energy companies have seen their profits rise by more than tenfold since 2007. The energy market is not just expensive, inefficient and polluting – it is, above all, undemocratic.

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