Ed Balls – vision of world class green jobs
Both Ed Balls and Danny Alexander have come out as strong champions of the green economy. Yesterday, the Shadow Chancellor announced the launch of an independent infrastructure commission to explore how to drive long-term investment in new clean energy capacity and a low carbon transport network. Balls left Osborne looking “increasingly isolated” as he pursues a pro-gas agenda. But he also urged Labour to “do more to challenge Osborne by championing the green economy and the one million jobs it’s already created”.
Rather than paraphrasing Ed Ball’s’ speech, this is what he actually said:
On the green economy (for future reference) –
“We must decide whether we need to replace our antiquated National Grid, or risk more power cuts in the future. We must decide as a country on a clear plan to invest in nuclear power, wind and tidal power and other renewables so we can lead the world in delivering clean, de-carbonised energy and green jobs.
We must decide how we are going to protect our country from rising sea levels and exceptional rainfall, including whether we need to replace or reinforce the Thames Barrier to prevent London from flooding.
And we must decide, alongside vital decisions on rail and airport capacity, how we are going to get more freight off the roads and onto the railways – it won’t help that our grand-children are all driving electric cars if they are still sat in gridlock on the M6 or the M25.
On all these issues, if we don’t start to plan now, what will we say in 30 years’ time when our children ask: ‘why didn’t you act when there was still time?’
That is why we need a comprehensive long-term plan to rebuild Britain’s infrastructure for the 21st century, and a cross-party consensus to deliver it.
In effect, this wasn’t a speech setting out the case for action on climate change in appeal based on the scientific evidence. Climate change was a given. The dangers now lie in inaction and uncertainty itself. Lamenting the lack of certainty over the government’s infrastructure plans, Balls argued businesses were left asking “will Boris or Dave win on Heathrow? Will Conservative MPs block High Speed rail? Will George see off Zac on renewable energy?”