Andy Burnham is urging the Labour Party to maintain its commitment to the £28bn climate pledge.

The proposal has been hailed as an “investment in the future” by the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, following hints from Keir Starmer about a potential rollback. Burnham has urged Starmer to stand firm on his plans to allocate £28bn to green projects and advised him to “stick to your guns” despite concerns over the financial situation that Starmer would inherit if he became prime minister. Burnham emphasized that the money would contribute to future prosperity, reindustrializing the north and establishing the nation as a “clean energy superpower.” He urged the party to remain committed to the investment, underlining its significance for new industries, improving residents’ homes, and enhancing transport infrastructure. Burnham also stressed the importance of prompt action, warning that delaying could result in other governments surpassing the UK in the race for green initiatives. Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt expressed concerns about the financial implications, asserting that whether it is termed “spending” or “investment,” the £28bn would still incur debt interest and potentially necessitate tax increases. While Labour initially promised to invest £28bn annually until 2030 if elected, last year, the shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, indicated that it would be a target to work towards during the second half of their term in power. Starmer recently characterized the policy as a “confident ambition” rather than a firm commitment, prioritizing adherence to Labour’s fiscal rules and ensuring that debt decreases over the green spending target.

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