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Labour urged to honour green investment pledge by Plaid Cymru spokesperson

Ben Lake MP

PLAID CYMRU’S Treasury spokesperson, Ben Lake MP, has implored the Labour Party to uphold its promise of allocating £28 billion annually for green investment. Lake’s plea comes after Labour Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves announced that the party’s yearly funding for green industries would not be immediately implemented in the first year of a Labour government. Instead, Labour plans to gradually increase climate spending throughout its initial parliamentary term, aiming to reach the £28 billion target by 2028.

Mr. Lake, echoing the sentiments expressed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres last week, criticized countries’ lackluster response to the climate crisis, warning of impending catastrophe. He countered Labour’s argument that phasing in climate spending is fiscally responsible, stating, “we cannot underestimate the cost of stalling our green transition” and asserting that delaying progress due to short-term political strategies is dangerously irresponsible.

As an alternative approach, Lake has urged the Labour Party to commit to a tax system that more equitably reflects wealth distribution in the United Kingdom. Currently, the financial wealth held by the richest 1% of households surpasses that held by 80% of the population. By addressing this disparity, Lake believes Labour can ensure a fairer society while advancing their climate goals.

Drawing attention to recent events, Lake highlighted the urgency of the situation. “Firefighters have been tackling six different wildfires in south Wales in recent days, and have all been alarmed by pictures of noxious smoke enveloping New York,” he said. Lake continued by referencing Secretary-General Guterres’ call for immediate action and the perilous trajectory of global average temperatures, which are projected to rise by 2.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century—nearly double the UN’s target of a 1.5-degree increase.

Lake emphasized the gravity of the climate crisis and the need for swift action. He expressed concern that future generations would not commend today’s politicians for adhering rigidly to self-imposed Conservative fiscal rules if the planet becomes uninhabitable. The social, environmental, and economic costs of continuing on the current path are dire, making it abundantly clear that stalling the green transition due to short-term political strategies is an immensely perilous choice.

Furthermore, Lake urged Labour to remain steadfast in their commitment to climate spending targets, emphasizing the importance of avoiding any dilution of their dedication to combating the climate crisis. To ensure a sustainable future, he encouraged the party to explore ways of making the tax system fairer and addressing the UK’s high wealth and income inequality.

Plaid Cymru’s plea to the Labour Party reflects the growing urgency felt by many regarding climate change and the need for immediate and substantial action. As the climate crisis continues to escalate, political parties face mounting pressure to prioritize green investment and implement effective policies to mitigate the catastrophic consequences of global warming.