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If Labour is so committed on climate, it should recognise how the EU can help

3 192 0
12.05.2019

The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has pledged to use “every lever of government possible” to tackle climate change. And his latest idea is to go after the big players on the London Stock Exchange, warning that UK companies failing to act to reduce carbon emissions will be delisted.

As a green economist, radical steps to address the economic drivers of our various environmental crises have been my bread and butter for years. So I welcome Labour’s newfound commitment to get serious on climate change, though its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 can hardly be seen as treating the problem as an emergency. Greens believe we must reach net zero carbon by 2030 and that such a target is achievable.

And let’s face it, Labour’s gear change is going to be anything but smooth given the inconsistencies in its policies.

For instance, listed in the FTSE 100 – the largest UK companies on the London Stock Exchange – is easyJet. The climate impact of airlines, and especially short-haul airlines encouraging weekend breaks, is devastating. So presumably such companies would be a target for McDonnell’s delisting. Except Labour is also supporting airport expansion, thereby encouraging companies such as easyJet to........

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