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Union opposes Labour's ban on new North Sea licences


Clean Energy

Union opposes Labour ban North Sea licences

Unite's general secretary, Sharon Graham, has warned against banning new North Sea licenses without a job protection plan, as it would put the UK's oil and gas workers at risk, similar to the coal miners of this generation.

Unite wants Keir Starmer to increase funding for northeastern Scotland's offshore oil and gas sector. This is the goal of their billboard campaign in six Scottish areas. Unite believes that Labour should continue to issue new licenses for oil and gas development until it can prove it can protect jobs and communities. "No Ban Without A Plan" is the union's campaign slogan.

Ed Miliband, the shadow minister for climate, promised to place Great British Energy, Labour's planned government-supported renewable energy company, in Scotland. Additionally, a portion of Labour's £7 billion "wealth fund" will go toward wind energy. Unite, the biggest Labour donor in the 2019 general election, is pushing for clearer funding commitments for eco-friendly technologies in northeast Scotland.

According to the Unite study, Graham stated that £6 billion would be needed over six years to start manufacturing wind turbines in the area. The SNP holds a sizable majority of the seats in which Unite is waging it's No Ban Without a Plan campaign, as well as those held by their predecessors prior to boundary revisions. Moray East, Aberdeen North, and Aberdeenshire North are the two.

Though the UK needs to stop using fossil fuels, some unions were concerned when Labour announced last year that no new permits for oil and gas exploration would be granted. Gary Smith, the general secretary of the GMB, referred to the choice as foolish.

Labour withdrew its pledge to invest £28 billion annually in green projects, causing concerns among unions and environmental activists about whether the party had allocated enough funds for the shift to a net-zero economy.


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