Net-Zero Transition News

Madano Analysis – An Update From the Labour Party Conference 2023

By Sara Tracogna, Senior Account Manager, Net-Zero Transition
By Sara Tracogna, Senior Account Manager, Net-Zero Transition

The political mood

At this year’s Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, the mood is confident and at times even celebratory, especially within the conference hall during today’s Shadow Cabinet Speeches.

Labour has drawn some clear dividing lines between the party and the Conservatives, and has emphasised its commitment to net zero, investment in clean energy infrastructure, and delivering for working people. While there were relatively few new announcements, though more to come from Starmer’s speech tomorrow, Labour has been eager to portray that it now has a plan for power.

Key speeches

Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has long-been a centrepiece of the Labour strategy to position themselves as credible economic caretakers, and today was no different as she used her speech to point out Conservative failures over the last 13 years. She focused on Labour’s plans to crack down on wasteful spending to deliver fairer wages, economic security, and more prosperity for working people, ushering in a new era of fiscal responsibility. On energy, her key commitment was to reform planning policy, as well as to commit to community benefit from energy and infrastructure schemes.

Some of the commitments made in her speech included the introduction of windfall taxes for energy giants, taxing tech conglomerates to improve the high streets, taxing private planes, slashing government consultancy spending, investigating and cracking down on fraud incurred in the pandemic, and an inquiry into HS2 costs and a plan for the future.

Reeves positioned Labour as the builders of Britain’s future, and the Tories as the blockers, outwardly calling them “untrustworthy” and the greatest risk to the UK economy. She also re-emphasised how her “securonomics” will bring economic prosperity, a theme echoed in the speeches of Jonathan Reynolds, Shadow Business Secretary, and Ed Miliband, Shadow Net Zero and Climate Change Secretary.

Reynolds gave a rousing speech that centred around Labour’s commitment to net zero. His speech reflected the complaints from industry that the Conservative Government has failed to provide a consistent and long-term commitment to net zero policy needed to attract investment, reassuring voters that Labour would not backtrack on net zero.

Similarly, Miliband focused heavily on how Labour’s investment in a state-owned Great British Energy (GBE) would slash bills for consumers and establish national energy security by investing in clean energy infrastructure. While Miliband has been criticised as being overly focused on climate, he focused on lowering household costs.

More to come, in terms of headline announcements, from Starmer’s big speech tomorrow.