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Starmer vows to avoid mistakes of coal mine closures in shift to green energy

07 Jun 2023

Sir Keir Starmer vowed not to repeat the mistakes made when coal mines closed when challenged over plans to ban new oil and gas extraction licences in the North Sea.

The Labour leader was warned at the GMB’s conference that that communities could be “decimated” by the move, which has also drawn criticism from the union’s general secretary.

In a speech to the GMB Congress in Brighton, Sir Keir pledged to work with unions to “seize the opportunities” of hydrogen power and carbon capture and storage projects.

What I will never let happen is a repeat of what happened in coal mining, where an industry came to an end and nobody had planned for the future

“For too long, Britain has allowed the opportunities of the new energy technologies to pass us by. Without a plan, the energy industries that we rely on will wither and decline,” he said.

“Change is coming and yes it can unsettle us. But mark my words, on my watch, good jobs – good, union jobs – will be fundamental to that change.

“Decent pay, respect, dignity and fairness, cleaner, safer work, new and better infrastructure for Britain.

“These are the purposes of our party and they are historic prizes that we will win again.


“I won’t pretend that just because a technology is greener that automatically makes working conditions fairer.

“So as new nuclear, battery factories and offshore wind repower Britain, Labour will build strong supply chains that create jobs, skills and decent wages here in Britain.”