|NW Green Party Euro-candidate |
The report sets out the region’s potential to be a leader in green energy, creating thousands of much-needed jobs. The North West already produces one of the highest amounts of renewable energy in the country. The region has quadrupled its output in the last ten years, in spite of the economic crisis, and the industry is now worth £1.2bn to the region, employing over 9400 people across 611 companies.
The North West region generates 17% of England's renewable energy, but only makes up 11% of England's area, and only consumes 11% of the UK’s total energy. The region currently generates just under 4,000 GWh of renewables and is second only to the East of England, which has a larger land area and lower population density.
A study from the North West Development Agency shows the North West could increase current onshore capacity for renewable energy to 40,000 MW by 2020. This is over 30 times current capacity, and does not include offshore development.
|NW Green Party |
Peter Cranie, the North West Green Party’s lead European election candidate said: “The latest polls show that we’ve pushed ahead of the Lib Dems and are on track to gain our first Green MEP in the North West. Last time we missed out by just 0.3% of the vote. We’re asking voters to back us and send a clear message to the coalition government. “
"We need action to reduce the growing inequality in our society, investment in public transport and renewable energy and a serious plan to address climate change - not austerity cuts, which hit the poorest in our society the hardest, and fracking for shale gas. On tuition fees, Trident, the selling of care data, secret US-EU trade deals and many other issues Lib Dem voters are feeling let down.”
“The European elections will shape next year’s general election debate. We hope Labour voters will vote Green to lean on their party to abandon its support for the government’s damaging austerity agenda, and for Trident, and to place urgent environmental issues higher up the agenda. Here in the North West we have the shameful record of Nick Griffin as our MEP for the last 5 years. A vote for the Greens is the best chance of kicking him and his racist party out of Brussels.”
Commenting on the North West Green Party’s new energy report, he said: “The report shows that the North West region has enormous potential to be a forerunner in renewables development, bringing jobs to the region and insulating us against oil and gas price rises. However we are being held back by the Tories and Lib Dems, determined to impose fracking on our communities. Only the Greens are opposed to fracking. A strong Green voice in the European Parliament would encourage investment in the region’s renewable energy industry, push for more green jobs and fight fracking.”
The Green Party is fielding 277 candidates in local elections across the region on 22nd May – the same day as the European election. This is over 50% of the available seats, the highest ever percentage coverage for the Greens in the North West.
The Green Party manifesto can be found at http://northwest.greenparty.org.uk/european-elections.html.
The report: "Energy in the North West - Bringing about a low-carbon, affordable energy future” can be downloaded as a pdf.
See previous story: European Parliamentary Elections: North West candidates confirmed for more about all the parties and candidates standing.