STANDING UP FOR GREEN JOBS in England’s North West

GREEN Jobs jpgAndrew Gwynne MP has voted to support renewable energy and jobs across the North West by backing a move to clean up UK power and tackle climate change.

Andrew voted for an amendment to the Energy Bill, currently in Parliament, that would set the Government a legal target to remove carbon emissions from the UK’s power supply almost entirely by 2030.

Businesses argue the move would reassure companies looking to make long-term investments in the green economy that could bring new jobs to the North West. It would end Britain’s heavy reliance on gas and would also stop rising gas prices from driving up fuel bills.

267 MPs voted for the proposal, including the Labour Party, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the DUP, the Green Party, and 16 Liberal Democrat and 8 Conservative backbenchers who defied the Government. The vote was lost by just 23 votes: the biggest MP rebellion on a whipped vote since tuition fees in 2010.

Shortly after the vote, the Labour Party restated its commitment to introducing a decarbonisation target in line with the Committee on Climate Change advice if it wins the next general election.

Lord Alan Sugar, from TV’s The Apprentice and a member of the House of Lords, warned on Monday that unless the Government commits to clean power the UK risks busting its climate change targets and losing business and jobs abroad. Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden, Campaign Ambassador for Friends of the Earth’s Clean British Energy campaign, said on Monday that it was a fantastic opportunity to revive British manufacturing and boost green growth.

A clean power target is expected to be a key issue when the Bill is debated in the House of Lords later this month.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“Green is working – the green economy supports almost a million jobs already and it is helping to stop dangerous climate change.

“But green companies and their supply chains will only make long-term investments in the North West if there’s a clear pathway for renewable energy in the future.

“That’s why I voted for a target to cut the carbon from our electricity by 2030 – it would help stabilise the climate and provide much needed jobs, as well as keeping bills as low as possible in the long-term.”

Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said:

“Andrew Gwynne MP should be applauded for standing up for action to tackle climate change and create new jobs in the North West.”

“Labour is right to oppose George Osborne’s reckless dash for gas power which would send fuel bills rocketing and jobs overseas, and punch a gaping hole in our climate targets.

“With so many MPs rebelling and joining Labour in voting for clean power, the issue will not go away – the battle will now go on the House of Lords, where the Government’s slim victory has a real chance of being overturned.”

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