Labour working with Biden's team on UK version of landmark green energy plan
The Yorkshire Post understands the party officials are working with members of the US President’s team who wrote the multi-billion dollar landmark legislation to craft a version fit for the UK.
Passed in August last year, President Biden’s plan saw an unprecedented $391 billion on energy security and climate change, including $270 billion in tax incentives as part of his plan to fight inflation.
This has started to tempt companies over to the US to take advantage of the low costs for doing business in green energy, with those such as Drax in North Yorkshire saying that the UK risks “getting left behind and investment moving to other countries”.
The EU has since begun to unveil its own subsidies, which will see billions of euros invested into clean technologies including solar panels and wind turbines in order to compete with the US.
The Treasury has since announced a £20 billion investment in carbon capture technology as well as plans to increase Britain’s nuclear capability, with the Chancellor set to lay out further details in his budget on Wednesday.
Meanwhile a delegation of US senators is due to visit Drax’s North Yorkshire powerstation this week amid speculation that the company could move its focus across the Atlantic.
Labour’s shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, argued this weekend that UK companies need further investment incentives for other technologies such as offshore wind and tidal energy that need government support.
“All of this is up for grabs, no-one is doing a lot of this stuff at scale yet. We could be global leaders in some of this,” she told the Observer.
Ms Reeves is due to visit Washington in May to have meetings with senior Democrats where she is planning to make a speech to show the UK can lead on “climate change, on new industries and on the future of economic thinking”.
It comes after members of Labour’s front bench visited Germany over the summer including discussions with the SDP and Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
It understood Labour discussed how the two countries could avoid competition by specialising on separate industries or parts of sectors which would not put the UK in direct competition with other major economies in the Bloc.
"We can't compete with the EU on everything because we'd lose, but there is scope for us to focus on some things," said one source.
On Monday Rishi Sunak said the UK and US will “work through” concerns about Joe Biden’s multibillion-dollar package of green subsidies.
The Prime Minister welcomed the Biden administration’s commitment to tackling climate change, but said the UK had already raised concerns about the measures in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
But it has strained relations with European economies, including the UK, which have been frozen out of US markets, with Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch calling it “protectionist”.