6 March 2021
The Green Party has become the first major political party to call for the end of carbon intensive blast furnaces in steel production and instead invest in electric arc furnaces melting scrap steel to minimise the amount of carbon released from the industry.
Members have today voted for a motion at the party’s Spring Conference which would see the UK government phase out coal completely, while also investing to create hundreds of thousands of Green jobs for the future.
Sian Berry, Green Party co-leader and candidate for London Mayor, said this was necessary to reduce emissions as much as possible before 2030 to avoid catastrophic climate change:
"Backing a new coal mine in Cumbria is utterly wrong from the Government. Only the Greens recognise that every industry needs to transform dramatically to match the urgency of the climate and ecological society. And only the Greens are prepared to invest in the innovation that will make this possible.
“We simply cannot arrive at a net-zero carbon emission economy if we continue to make steel from blast furnaces. The COP climate summit is this year and the Government should be putting new investment into alternatives now if we are to hold our heads up as hosts for the rest of the world.
"We also have to seize this chance to protect workers and create new jobs in greener industries. The comprehensive Green New Deal we are pushing for could create millions of jobs while also protecting our future."
Green Party Councillor Jonathan Essex, who proposed the motion, said:
“The UK currently imports millions of tonnes of coal from around the world for use in blast furnaces. This has to stop if we have any hope of reducing emissions in the way we need to.
“This motion places the Greens at the forefront of the debate about how to decarbonise our economy completely, and makes it clear that the government must not just commit to new coal use in the UK, but must also phase out our demand for it from around the world.”