Shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband outlines party’s net zero strategy ahead of government’s “energy security day”

Labour will impose a “net zero mandate” on every major UK regulator as part of a plan to create a British version of US president Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband has pledged.

In a speech to business leaders outlining the party’s strategy to spur growth in new green industries, Miliband promised there would be “no more mixed messages” on net zero policy under a Labour government.

The Inflation Reduction Act is a set of measures signed into law last summer which is expected to raise around $740bn in investment in clean domestic energy production.

Earlier this month the European Union unveiled its response to the Act, the Green Industrial Plan, which has the potential to significantly outstrip the US government’s funding for net zero technologies.


Ed Miliband

But Miliband said the UK government had been “caught in the headlights” by the announcements. “As the US and Europe speed off into the distance, we are spending our time back in the changing room arguing about the rules. Sore loser syndrome won’t win any jobs for Britain,” he said at an event hosted by the Green Alliance yesterday.

The former Labour leader said the party would provide a “clear long-term framework to give stability for investors, not the inconsistent leadership we have often seen over the last decade”.

He added: “We will end the onshore wind ban. We must speed up the planning process, not slow it down. We will have a clear responsibility on local authorities to have a renewable energy strategy. And we will ensure every key regulator has a clear net-zero duty. We must sweep away the other obstacles in grid, skills and supply chains to the green transformation we need.”

The comments come ahead of the government’s “energy security day”, a series of policy announcements on a revised net zero strategy due to be unveiled by energy secretary Grant Shapps tomorrow.

Highlights are set to include a new import tax on products manufactured in countries which have less stringent environmental rules than the UK.

The “carbon border taxes” are designed to stop these countries undercutting UK manufacturers who will have to abide by increasingly strict environmental regulations.

Its initial rollout is likely to target energy-intensive products such as iron and steel, cement, aluminium, The Times reported.

Shapps is also due to announce a plan to fund loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and clean heating systems with grants to middle income families.

It would differ from previous and existing schemes for funding energy efficiency retrofits, which have mostly been targeted at poorer households, by channelling funding to those who are able to pay for the works.

Other announcements expected tomorrow include a formal response to the Chris Skidmore report, a government commissioned review of the country’s net zero strategy.