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A Green Industrial Revolution

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:52 pm on 15th January 2020.

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Photo of Andy McDonald Andy McDonald Shadow Secretary of State for Transport 5:52 pm, 15th January 2020

My hon. Friend makes a good point. In the election campaign, I made the commitment to electrify the entire fleet in this country. That would be a major contribution to improving air quality and reducing emissions. I encourage the Government to consider that proposition again. If we can take that sort of bold step to electrify the entire fleet, we can start to deliver some real differences.

A strategy to support cycling and walking—including subsidies for e-bikes and a more interventionist approach—could similarly help to slash emissions and create jobs. Instead, the Government’s priority is to pursue a colossal road building programme that is environmentally unsustainable and will drive traffic growth and create congestion. Almost £30 billion will be spent on road building on the strategic road network.

Without a genuine green industrial revolution, the Government are condemning the country to economic stagnation and a climate crisis. The Labour party did not win the recent general election, so sadly we cannot implement our programme, but the need to address the climate crisis and revitalise our economy remains every bit as urgent.