From investment in renewable power to building Sizewell C nuclear plant, the general election campaign has already seen fierce discussion about energy.

Many parties will be publishing their full manifestos in the coming weeks, but the first TV debate between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer proved household bills, the environment, and energy independence are major issues in the campaign.

And on World Environment Day, the United Nations’ secretary-general Antonia Guterres called for a tax on the “windfall” profits of fossil fuel companies and a ban on fossil fuel advertising.

Mr Guterres said: “Many in the fossil fuel industry have shamelessly greenwashed, even as they have sought to delay climate action, with lobbying, legal threats, and massive ad campaigns. I call on these companies to stop acting as enablers to planetary destruction, stop taking on new fossil fuel clients, from today, and set out plans to drop your existing ones.

“I urge every country to ban advertising from fossil fuel companies, and I urge news media and tech companies to stop taking fossil fuel advertising.”

With less than a month to go before you can cast your vote, where do Suffolk’s local parties stand on energy?


East Anglian Daily Times:

Local Conservative groups across the county have been busy this week selecting candidates to contest seats at the election.

Party leader Rishi Sunak made clear in Tuesday night’s TV debate that energy security and cutting bills were his priority, even if that meant delays to climate change measures.

Speaking in the debate, Prime Minister Sunak: "We are going to stick to the emissions targets we have put in place, but we are going to do it in a way that saves you all money. I am not going to impose thousands of pounds of costs on you to rip out your boiler, change your car, convert your home."   

Meanwhile Tory candidate for Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, Will Tanner, stressed his backing for the nuclear plant Sizewell C and prioritising the consumer.

He said: "The Conservatives have a plan to strengthen this country's energy security and cut our carbon emissions, by backing new nuclear like Sizewell C and supporting renewables like offshore wind. 

"Unlike other parties, we will do so while cutting the levies on people's bills and protecting our best value land for farming and food production, which is the backbone of our local economy here in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket. 

"If I am elected, I will campaign to ensure the new energy infrastructure we need does not come at a cost to local communities or our beautiful countryside."


East Anglian Daily Times:

Suffolk is a key target area for the Green Party, with co-leader Adrian Ramsay standing to become MP for Waveney Valley.

Environmental policies are at the core of the party’s message, with a focus on renewable energy.

 Mr Ramsay said: “In Suffolk we are blessed with strong winds, lots of sun and ports to service offshore wind farms. But these assets are not being used to their full. 

“The Green Party supports the transition of the grid to 100% renewables as fast as possible to avoid runaway climate change and create a secure energy supply which will bring people’s bills down and create lasting jobs.

“The levers to bring this about include: roof top solar on new builds, lifting the ban on onshore windfarms, increased funding for offshore wind, enabling community owned renewable energy projects and making it easier for small scale renewable projects to connect directly to nearby homes and businesses rather than to the grid. 

“We also urgently need a programme of support for insulating people’s homes which will keep people’s homes warm whilst keeping bills down and reduce demand for energy.

“The Green Party is also actively supporting the campaign for a rethink on the Norwich to Tilbury pylons route: we need to have the right type of infrastructure to support the grid, and all options should be properly explored including the offshore grid.”


East Anglian Daily Times:

Energy has been at the core of Labour’s first few weeks of general election campaigning, with the announcement of publicly owned energy company Great British Energy.

Like the Liberal Democrats, they’ve also promised a strong windfall tax on oil and gas companies.

Labour's shadow climate change and net zero secretary, Ed Miliband, pledged to “reindustrialise East Anglia”.

The candidate for Doncaster North said: “As a first step we will set up Great British Energy, a new publicly owned energy company, to kickstart our national mission for clean power and turn the page on the cost of living crisis.

“Our mission will reindustrialise East Anglia, creating 56,000 good jobs across the region, as part of the biggest investment in clean energy in British history.  These jobs will be well-paid and secure - with low carbon jobs paying wages 23% higher than the regional average, overcoming years of wage stagnation under the Tories.

“Great British Energy will invest in clean energy like green hydrogen and create thousands of good, clean nuclear jobs as we back and build Sizewell C.

“We need to build new infrastructure to cut energy bills and get energy independence for our country, but communities must have a say. A Labour government will ensure this, with clear, streamlined processes and a transparent regime. And it will be a defining rule that every community that hosts clean power infrastructure will get rewards for doing so - with benefits like lower bills for communities who live nearby.”

These messages are echoed by Jack Abbott, Labour candidate for Ipswich.

 Mr Abbott said:  

“Labour have committed to making the UK a clean energy superpower, and I want our country’s net zero future to be centred here in Suffolk.

“Not only will this deliver cheaper bills and greater energy security, it will also mean more jobs for local people and much greater investment into our local economy too.

“I am committed to grasping the opportunities on offer so we can build a better future for our town and our county.”

Liberal Democrats

East Anglian Daily Times: Julia Ewart, prospective parliamentary candidate for Suffolk Coastal, has accused Barclays Bank of

Aside from Ed Davey falling off a paddleboard and throwing himself down a waterslide, the Liberal Democrats have been keen to stress their focus on the environment and clean energy.

As well as a windfall tax on oil and gas companies similar to Labour’s, they want 80% of the UK’s electricity generated from renewables by 2030.

Julia Ewart, Liberal Democrat candidate for Suffolk Coastal said: “Renewable power is key to improving the UK’s energy security and tackling climate change, as well as reducing the cost of heating our homes. That last bit is particularly important, as thousands of Suffolk households live in fuel poverty. That’s a disgrace in this day and age.

“Electricity interconnectors and energy infrastructure must be carefully located as communities in Suffolk are unfairly shouldering the burden."