Following a visit to the Rough gas storage facility on 2 December, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has given the strongest statement yet on hydrogen. Here are some of the key quotes from an interview with the Yorkshire Post:
• “The Government should be investing at scale in hydrogen”
• “Hydrogen is both obviously a challenge but it’s a huge opportunity”
• “You can’t pretend you are levelling up while you are not investing in hydrogen sufficiently”
Also this week, Sir Keir executed his second reshuffle as Leader of the Labour Party. The key moves of relevance to hydrogen are:
• Ed Miliband MP having his role amended to Shadow Secretary of State of Climate Change and Net Zero. He said “I will lead Labour’s Green New Deal, transforming our energy system, leading the allocation of our Climate Investment Pledge, and delivering a net zero industrial strategy. We need a Labour Government with a dedicated department to decarbonise our economy and deliver climate justice and economic justice together”.
• Jonathan Reynolds MP becoming Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy. Speaking shortly afterwards to the CBI, MakeUK and the British Chambers of Commerce, Reynolds said “Labour is eager to engage with business about the immediate challenges they’re facing and how we can deliver long-term growth”.
• Louise Haigh MP replacing Jim McMahon (who moves to Shadow DEFRA Secretary of State) as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport. In a sign of debates to come, Ms Haigh said “I’m now looking forward to getting stuck into the Tories on behalf of communities who have been sold out by their transport betrayal and developing Labour’s vision to deliver for the whole of the country”.
Rob Dale. a well-known hydrogen commentator, said: “One of the biggest drivers of Government action is credible and sustained pressure/challenge from the Opposition, so here’s hoping that Keir’s intervention this week marks a gear change in Labour’s policy focus on hydrogen.”