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Labour will use the billions spent by government to force firms to take radical action on climate change

Under a Labour Government, in order to win public sector contracts firms will have to take radical action on climate change, by following strict environmental standards on energy use, emissions and waste disposal, while taking measures to aid the transition to a net-zero economy. Those that don’t will be prevented from winning future contracts.

The UK government spends £284bn in the private sector each year, making these contracts a powerful lever for change.

Labour has committed to introducing a presumption in favour of insourcing, but for the billions of pounds worth of goods and services the government will continue to procure from the private sector, Labour has previously announced it will require companies to meet strict standards on trade union recognition, late payments and tax compliance.

The requirement to take radical action on climate change is the latest of these measures, and its announcement comes a few weeks after Labour declared a national environment and climate emergency in Parliament.

Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, said “For too long large firms have enjoyed the immense benefits that come from public sector contracts, but they have failed to protect the public good.

“There is no greater public good than out planet and the environment. Businesses must follow Labour’s lead and deliver decisive action.

“Labour will ensure that every firm providing goods and services to the public sector puts people and planet before profit. The stakes demand nothing less.”