John McDonnell: Climate change is top priority for every UK region

Friday, November 29, 2019

John McDonnell has said that tackling climate change is the “number one priority” in every region of the UK after speaking to communities up and down the country.

Labour has today unveiled a manifesto for each region, along with a 10 year programme costing £250 billion to combat the climate emergency.

The shadow chancellor told talkRADIO that “ideas are buzzing” for regions to develop their own strategies for switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy such as wind, wave and solar power.

“I think it’s an absolutely brilliant demonstration of how you can devolve powers but allow people to have the resources that they need,” he told Mike Graham.

Mr McDonnell said that the shift would create jobs: “We developed the first industrial revolution, we now are about to create the next industrial revolution and it’s got to be a green one.”

He said he also plans to move some financial authorities out of London by creating regional offices for the Treasury and transferring parts of the Bank of England to Birmingham.

The Labour candidate said: “It’s a fact that in Western Europe we are one of the most regionally unequal countries and that regional inequality needs addressing”.

However, his spending plans have been met with criticism.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the public sector does not have the capacity to keep up with Labour’s promise to raise investment levels by £55 billion a year.

Mr McDonnell dismissed the feedback: “The IFS yesterday basically accused me of being too ambitious, well I take that as a badge of pride.”

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