Keir Starmer must learn to break a few eggs if hes to achieve a green economy

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2023-06-09 16:55:54  • 9 mins

A U-turn on the eve of a major policy announcement is not usually part of the plan for a government in waiting. Later this month the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, will set out his pitch on energy, jobs and net zero, hoping to place a green economy at the centre of his vision for revitalising the UK.

But with just weeks to go, his shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, admitted on Friday that the key plank of that vision the partys much-heralded flagship commitment to spend 28bn a year on green investment would be delayed. She blamed the economic mess being left by the Conservative party, and insisted the target would be met in the second half of a Labour parliament.

Green investment will instead start at an unspecified level and ramp up. Aides said the move was not a U-turn, but an act of economic realism, given the need for fiscal stability after years of Tory chaos.

Economists and green campaigners were far from convinced. Several Oxford economists questioned the move and suggested that Reeves and Starmer had misunderstood the economics of green investment.

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