Jeremy Corbyn praises ‘brillant’ Nottingham model as he launches energy policy

Mr Corbyn praised efforts to deliver green energy in the Meadows.

Jeremy Corbyn launched a new energy and environment policy in Nottingham which aims to cut prices for struggling families and tackle climate change.

The Labour leader held a press conference at the Meadows Library before speaking at a rally on the Forest Recreation Ground.

He said Nottingham could act as a model to create what campaigners say would be a fairer system of supplying power.

Nottingham already has a not-for-profit power company, Robin Hood Energy, set up by Nottingham City Council in September 2015 – which Mr Corbyn said was a ‘brilliant’ example of an alternative to big providers.

It uses energy from an incinerator, solar panels and waste food plants and also buys power from the market.

The Meadows is also home to the Green Street development of eco homes and the Mozes community energy company.

Mr Corbyn said: “This library has solar panels on it and that’s not because they were imposed on it – it was because the community wanted it. This community has set its own co-operative and it has its own environmental strategy.”

He added: “Too often people treat the scale of the task of climate change as too hard. We say no – it’s not too hard. People can take the action we need, we can save our fragile world and we can do it while building a fairer society.”

Mr Corbyn told the audience of media and Labour supporters the country should have a target of getting 65 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2030.

He also pledged to create an energy policy “for the 60 million, not the Big Six energy companies”.

Mr Corbyn would also ban fracking, which could arrive in Nottingham if a handful of early planning applications progress.

The Meadows is home to the Green Street eco development and an energy co-operative.

He said: “When Labour gets back into power Britain will lead the world in action on climate change.

“We will act to protect the future of our planet, with social justice at the heart of our environment policies, and take our fair share of action to meet the Paris climate agreement – starting by getting on track with our Climate Change Act goals.

“We want Britain to be the world’s leading producer of renewables technology.

“To achieve this we will accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, and drive the expansion of the green industries and jobs of the future, using our National Investment Bank to invest in public and community-owned renewable energy.”

“This will deliver clean energy and curb energy bill rises for households; an energy policy for the 60 million, not the Big Six energy companies.”

Nottingham is seen as a Labour heartland and a key battleground between Corbyn supporters and opponents.

Renewable energy technologies include wind, wave, marine, hydro, biomass and solar.

They made up 25 per cent of electricity generated in 2015 – and the UK currently has an EU target of getting 30 per cent from renewable sources by 2020.

Wednesday’s visit was Mr Corbyn’s second appearance in Nottingham in less than a month, after he appeared in a live television debate with leadership rival Owen Smith on August 17.

Labour members are voting on whether to keep Mr Corbyn as leader or elect Mr Smith, with a result expected to be announced on September 24.

Nottingham is seen as a key battleground in the poll, with local members divided between Mr Smith and Mr Corbyn.

Corbyn supporter Ankumda Matsiko, who lives at Castle Marina and was at the policy launch, said: “He is someone who sticks to his values – we need politicians who are not easily swayed. He has stuck to the same message from Iraq to the NHS.”

Cara Thompson, 18 a student from Sherwood, added: “He sticks to his guns and the fact he has a foot in grassroots activism resonates. There is a sense of him being the real thing.”


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