According to Sir Keir Starmer, a Labour proposal to establish the headquarters of a publicly owned sustainable energy firm north of the border may result in the creation of thousands of jobs in Scotland.
As part of a plan to make the UK a superpower in clean energy, the Labour leader proposed Great British Energy (GBN) during his party conference speech in Liverpool last year.
After announcing that the company’s headquarters would be in Scotland, he assured participants that it would be launched in the first year of a Labour administration should the party win the next general election.
In a joint statement with Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar on Monday, Sir Keir is expected to elaborate on his party’s plan to provide less expensive zero-carbon energy by 2030.
The two leaders will likely discuss how Scotland will benefit from three key aspects of Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan: building on Scotland’s energy and industrial heritage; doubling the number of jobs in low-carbon sectors; and establishing a clean power system by 2030, which will save Scottish households £8.4 billion over that period.
Sir Keir will say: “The route to making Britain a clean energy superpower, slashing energy bills and creating tens of thousands of quality jobs runs through Scotland.
“That is why GB Energy, our publicly owned energy company, will be headquartered in Scotland, the heart of the British energy industry.
“I mean it when I say that our energy plans will be made in Scotland – cutting energy bills for Scottish families and delivering the jobs and investment in Scottish communities that for far too long have been let down by the SNP and Conservatives.
“When it comes to capitalising on Scotland’s energy resources, for 15 years the SNP Government has chased the headlines but not done the work.
“Labour will deliver lower bills, good jobs, and energy security for Scotland and the whole UK, as Britain leads the world in the fight against climate change.”
Mr Sarwar said: “I am determined to leave our children and future generations a better planet than we have now.
“But to do this, we need to sweep out both of our bad governments and deliver urgent action, because we are running out of time.
“What we are announcing today is the boldest energy plan Scotland and the whole UK has seen in generations – delivering a clean energy revolution by 2030.
“It will deliver 50,000 clean power jobs for Scotland and lower bills for working people.
“I’m delighted to announce it will also mean a publicly owned Great British Energy company – headquartered here in Scotland.
“GB Energy – backed by the strength of the UK Treasury – will make strategic investments to maximise our opportunities and bring jobs and prosperity to Scotland.
“A Labour government will unleash Scotland’s massive energy potential by making those strategic investments – that’s the change Scotland needs.”
Alan Brown, MP for the SNP Energy Security and Net Zero, stated that Westminster politicians have used Scotland as an energy cash cow for decades, whether it be the Tories or the pro-Brexit Labour Party. Therefore, the pretence that they suddenly want to deliver a strategy for Scotland today is absurd.
“In Scotland, the damage of Westminster control is already done. Keir Starmer’s piecemeal proposal is too little, too late – and shows exactly why Scotland needs the full powers of independence.
“It has been decades of Westminster governments failing to properly harness Scotland’s immense energy resources that has left people across Scotland paying the price. Promising a GB Energy HQ doesn’t make up for decades of squandered oil and gas revenues.
“The SNP is serious about the transformative potential of green energy to Scotland’s success as part of a Just Transition – and the ambitious ScotWind project and the Scottish Government’s £500 million Just Transition Fund attest to that. But we want to go further.
“Labour is pro-Brexit, while Scotland is not. That means a UK Labour government will continue to ignore the needs, interests and wishes of people across Scotland and actively pursue policy that harms our interests.
“It could not be clearer that Scotland needs the full powers of independence to properly deliver clean, green and affordable renewable energy for the benefit of people living and working here.”