Rachel Reeves wants to become Britain's 'first green chancellor' as she pledges billions to confront climate crisis

Rachel Reeves has said she wants to become Britain’s “first green chancellor” as she pledged that an extra £28 billion will be spent every year to help tackle the climate crisis.

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves after addressing the Labour Party conference in Brighton (PA/Gareth Fuller)

The Leeds West MP and Shadow Chancellor outlined plans for massive investment in moving over to green technologies in her speech to Labour’s annual conference on Monday, where she also told the crowd that the party would scrap business rates entirely, a move that has been welcomed by industry. .

Speaking on stage in Brighton, Ms Reeves also said a government run by Sir Keir Starmer would set up a taskforce to examine “every line of every failed contract where value was not delivered” during the pandemic.

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She told the conference crowd: “I will invest in good jobs in the green industries of the future; giga-factories to build batteries for electric vehicles; a thriving hydrogen industry; offshore wind with turbines made in Britain; planting trees and building flood defences; keeping homes warm and getting energy bills down; good new jobs in communities throughout Britain.

“In other words: protecting and strengthening our everyday economy. And to make this a reality, to unlock that potential, and protect our planet for future generations.”

She added: “I can announce today Labour’s climate investment pledge, an additional £28 billion of capital investment in our country’s green transition for each and every year of this decade.

“I will be a responsible chancellor. I will be Britain’s first green chancellor.”

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said the announcements signalled a “significant shift” suggesting “that the party views business as part of the solution and not a problem to be solved.”

The organisation’s chief economist Rain Newton Smith said: “This can be seen in its recognition of the damage caused by the outdated and outmoded business rates system, which acts a drag on investment and a barrier to firms seeking to go further and faster on decarbonisation. And the proposed green investments send the right signal at the right time.

“This is something business can get behind, as are commitments to sound