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Sir Patrick Vallance Champions Labour’s Accelerated Green Energy Initiative

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In a significant endorsement, Sir Patrick Vallance, the former chief scientific adviser, has voiced his support for Labour’s ambitious green energy plan, urging that the quest for net zero should be pursued with the same urgency as the Covid-19 vaccine development.

Vallance, who stepped down last year, has endorsed Sir Keir Starmer’s commitment to decarbonise Britain’s electricity supplies by 2030—a full five years ahead of the current government’s target. This accelerated timeline has drawn criticism from the Conservatives, who have labelled the proposal as “mad, bad and dangerous.”

Writing in *The Times*, Vallance, renowned for his pivotal role in the pandemic response, declared that Labour’s goal is achievable and necessary for the country’s future. He cautioned against the Conservative strategy of delaying net zero policies, warning, “If we choose to go slowly, others will provide the answers, and we will ultimately end up buying the solutions.”

In 2022, fossil fuels accounted for 33% of the UK’s electricity generation. Current government plans aim to transition to renewable energy by 2035. Labour proposes advancing this target by five years, asserting that it will reduce energy bills, generate jobs, and spur economic growth.

While some energy experts and Conservative voices have raised concerns about the feasibility and economic impact of Labour’s plan, Vallance remains optimistic. He acknowledges the technological and logistical hurdles but insists that with the right approach, a clean power system by 2030 is within reach.

“Achieving this goal will require prime ministerial support and empowered, accountable leadership,” Vallance stated, highlighting the need for a coordinated effort similar to the vaccine task force.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has welcomed Vallance’s endorsement, calling it “fantastic,” and shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband praised Vallance’s recognition of government capabilities in overcoming significant challenges.

Vallance’s advocacy extends beyond mere support; he has been actively collaborating with the Royal Academy of Engineering to explore how to expedite the decarbonisation of the power system. His vision is clear: “This mission transcends party politics. It’s about our security, cost of living, job opportunities, and climate.”

A Conservative source criticised Labour’s decarbonisation policy, citing it as unprecedented among major economies and a potential threat to energy security. They argue that a rapid transition could lead to higher consumer costs and increased reliance on infrastructure from countries like China.

Despite these objections, Vallance is resolute. “Moving swiftly towards a clean power system is an investment, not just a cost,” he asserted. “Achieving energy self-sufficiency will protect us from the volatility of the international fossil fuel market.”

Vallance concluded with a call to action: “This is a challenge we must embrace with determination and innovation, leveraging the expertise of our scientists, engineers, and the private sector. The rewards—lower energy bills, job creation, and climate leadership—are immense.”

His powerful endorsement sets a compelling narrative for Labour’s green energy vision, underlining the necessity for urgent and decisive action to secure the UK’s energy future.

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