New Communist Party of Britain
New Communist Party of Britain
adopted December 2015
Rising British energy charges and falling real incomes are forcing growing numbers of working people and even middle‑class families to choose between food and heating.
This is partly due to rising world energy prices but in Britain it is exacerbated by the privatised utility and oil companies, which continue increasing charges even when international prices are falling.
The privatisation of formerly public utilities undermines proper planning and democratic control of energy policy, allowing multinational energy companies to rig the British energy market, rather than invest significantly in clean coal, renewable energy, and increased energy efficiency.
In Britain and globally the capitalists deploy battalions of well‑paid “experts” to deny global warning, to claim renewable energy is costly and that nuclear energy is cheap and clean.
Britain became a net energy importer in 2005, while over a third of current electricity generation capacity is due to be retired by 2020. It is highly dependent on carbon fuels and increasingly dependent on energy imports. Britain is the most polluted country in the whole of Europe, both east and west.
Coal‑fired power stations still produce 30 per cent of Britain's electricity, but almost 60 per cent of coal supplies are imported, although Britain has enough coal reserves to meet its needs for 500 years. Our ruling class regards a large mining workforce as a threat and prefers to rely on coal produced by low‑cost labour in developing countries.
The current policy of heavy state investment in nuclear power reflects the bias towards powerful private energy producers, and the refusal to consider ending Britain’s Trident missile programme. The New Communist Party has long opposed the development of nuclear power in Britain, and we remain opposed on the grounds that:
The NCP is also opposed to “fracking” technology to extract gas from rock formations which pollutes water tables and causes earth subsidence.
A major academic study published in 2010, Zero Carbon Britain 2030, shows that with existing technology Britain can almost entirely eliminate its dependence on fossil fuels in two decades.
Britain’s onshore and offshore wind and wave potential alone could provide two‑thirds of future carbon‑free energy needs, available energy‑efficient construction which can cut domestic housing energy needs by 70 per cent; and transport energy use can be cut by 63 per cent.
The New Communist Party calls for:
We also call for greater research and investment in carbon capture and storage for coal‑fired power stations with a view to re‑developing the British coal mining industry.
These measures would reduce Britain’s dependence on energy imports and giant energy corporations, and create skilled employment in new technology industries.
The NCP also calls for all new homes, schools, and public sector buildings to be zero carbon. The last Labour Government had set a target of this to be done by 2016. However, one of the first acts of Conservative Government, in 2015, was to abandon the programme.