Copeland By-Election: GMB Motion to Conference

During my campaigning in the Copeland by-election, I have frequently made reference to the following motion that was moved by the GMB trade union at Labour Party Conference in 2016. It clearly states support for the construction new nuclear power stations.  Conference delegates voted on the motion and it overwhelmingly passed.

Within the Labour party, it is National Conference that decides on party policy, not the party leader.

Conference notes that: the USA and China have ratified the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change on 4/5 September but the Government has failed to do so; the Government in merging the Department of Energy and Climate Change into the new Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has signalled that Climate Change is irrelevant;

Conference condemns the Government’s refusal to ratify the Paris Agreement immediately and calls on the Government to both ratify it immediately and seek to meet its obligations before 2050.Conference reaffirms its commitment to both a carbon-neutral environment and limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial ones.

Britain needs investment in energy and a strategic plan that balances environmental considerations, the need to tackle fuel poverty and job creation in the UK.

The UK has an obligation to tackle climate change and create a lower carbon economy. Renewables have an important part to play in the energy mix but so far the Government have not created the jobs we need in manufacturing. Foreign corporations and governments see investment in British energy as a better investment than our own government does. Gas continues to be an important part of the energy mix, with 80% of homes being gas heated and many industries relying on it.

Conference notes that: the government dithered and delayed on Hinkley Point, leading to instability and uncertainty, finally making a decision on September 15th.

Conference condemns government failure to:

  • Build a cohesive energy policy that guarantees the long-term security of our energy needs;
  • Develop a long-term plan to build renewables into our energy mix;
  • Invest in infrastructure and stem the flow of UK energy jobs going broad.


Conference calls for Labour to develop and campaign for a balanced, mixed energy policy which includes renewables, continuing and new nuclear power, gas and carbon capture and storage alongside direct investment in UK infrastructure, supporting and creating skilled UK energy jobs and training opportunities, while lowering bills, keeping the lights on and heating

Conference believes tackling climate change ahead of international obligations is an urgent priority for the next Labour Government, which alongside tackling climate change must not only protect related, skilled employment but also generate new clean, renewable energy-related businesses, employment and skills training throughout the United Kingdom.

Moreover it should produce a detailed policy document that addresses all of UK energy security, carbon reduction, value for money, incentives and investment for wind, wave and solar, support for large scale domestic insulation.

Mover: GMB

Seconder: Cities of London and Westminster