Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Spotlight
9 February 2021updated 20 Aug 2021 8:20am

Anneliese Dodds calls for “an end to greenwash” on climate policy

The Shadow Chancellor tells the New Statesman's Global Policy Forum it is time for a fair, jobs-rich transition to a sustainable economy. 

By Jonny Ball

Labour Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds has called for an end to “greenwash” in the government’s climate policy “and the start of a genuine, fair, jobs-rich transition” to a sustainable economy. 

In a keynote address at New Statesman Spotlight’s online Global Policy Forum event, Dodds criticised the government’s environment record and listed what she described as multiple failings that have led to “slow progress” in recent years.

“The Green Investment Bank was sold off in 2017,” she said, a move criticised by Meg Hillier, the chair of the Public Accounts Committee. “The development of the UK solar power industry was constrained in 2015 when the feed-in tariff was slashed, and £6bn of overseas fossil fuel projects have been funded by UK Export Finance.”

Ahead of the November COP26 summit, which the UK is hosting in Glasgow, the government has made much of its green credentials, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak floating a new “green gilt”, an investment product designed to attract private money into green infrastructure projects. Dodds expressed scepticism about the new financial instrument. She told delegates that “we still don’t know exactly how it will ensure spending on green projects”, questioning whether it will be “sufficiently attractive for the wide take-up that we need to see”.

View this and other sessions at the Global Policy Forum

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

In November last year, the Prime Minister also announced a “green industrial revolution” as part of a recovery plan, taking the same name Labour had used for its sustainable economic strategy in its 2019 manifesto. That manifesto also set out plans for a Green Transformation Fund costing £250bn. Critics of the government’s current policy say the sums dedicated to its “ten-point plan” – £12bn, most of which is not new spend – are inadequate.

“A green stimulus is not only environmentally productive but economically productive as well,” said Dodds. “According to research, clean energy infrastructure investments have the strongest positive impact on emissions and on the economy. It’s known as the multiplier effect, which comes from investment creating additional economic activity and creating employment.”

Content from our partners
What are the green skills of the future?
A global hub for content producers, gaming and entertainment companies in Abu Dhabi
Insurance: finding sustainable growth in stormy markets

Labour’s own “green economic recovery” policy, also launched last November, promised £30bn to support 400,000 new jobs in green industries, putting the UK in line with similar stimulus packages to be implemented in France and Germany.

Talking to the New Statesman’s political editor, Stephen Bush, at the close of the virtual conference, the Shadow Chancellor challenged the government to “move beyond its short-term approach to planning and regulation”. Dodds also praised the efforts of the Bank of England for “leading the field here” with its plans to deploy an innovative climate stress test for the biggest banks, insurers, and the financial system as a whole.

Read more: Net zero alone is not enough to tackle climate crisis, says UNEP chief

Topics in this article: