Ceredigion MP Ben Lake has today (Monday, 19 June) urged the Labour Party to honour its pledge to spend £28 billion a year on green investment. Mr Lake is also Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson.

Labour Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves confirmed on Friday, 9 June that her party’s £28 billion annual funding for green industries will now not be put in place from the first year of a Labour government – instead intending to “ramp up” climate spending throughout their first parliamentary term, with an aim to reach £28 billion figure by 2028.

Mr Lake MP echoed UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ warning that countries’ “pitiful” response to the climate crisis will lead to “catastrophe”. Mr Guterres made the comments on Thursday 15 June in a press conference.

He countered Labour’s claim that phasing in climate spending is ‘fiscally responsible’, saying that “we cannot underestimate the cost of stalling our green transition” and that “stalling our green transition due to short term political strategies is dangerously irresponsible”.

Instead, he has urged Labour to commit to a tax system that more fairly reflects wealth distribution in the UK, with the financial wealth held by the richest 1% of households currently greater than that held by 80 per cent of the population.

Mr Lake said: “Firefighters have been tackling six different wildfires in south Wales in recent days, and have all been alarmed by pictures of noxious smoke enveloping New York.

“Just last week, UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued a rallying cry for countries to stop hurling towards disaster, eyes wide open. We are currently on a trajectory to average temperatures of 2.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times by the end of the century, nearly twice the UN goal of a 1.5 degree rise. That would be catastrophic.

“The Climate Crisis will not wait for the Labour Party. We cannot expect future generations to praise today’s politicians for adhering rigidly to self-imposed Conservative fiscal rules if our planet becomes uninhabitable.

“If we consider the social, environmental, and indeed economic cost of continuing on the current trajectory, it is clear that stalling our green transition due to short term political strategies is dangerously irresponsible. Indeed, if Labour is concerned about being fiscally responsible it should consider ways of making our tax system fairer, and to address the UK's high wealth and income inequality. 

“Plaid Cymru urges the Labour Party to stand firm on climate spending targets and avoid diluting their commitment to tackling the climate crisis.”