Cllr Henry Nottage

A Labour motion to Sheffield’s Full Council, expressing enthusiasm for nuclear power and more investment in aviation has been described as disappointing by Green Councillors as the wrong path to take to tackle the growing threat posed by climate change and soaring energy bills.

The motion noted the Sheffield bid for Government Investment Zone funding which includes a partnership with the world’s second largest arms manufacturer, Boeing, whose weapons such as Apache helicopters are used to kill civilians (1),

Green Party Councillor Henry Nottage said of Labour’s support for nuclear power,

“Nuclear energy is by far the most expensive form of electricity generation and is almost 3 times the cost of offshore wind. The many billions the Government spends on nuclear power would be more cost effectively spent insulating peoples homes and expanding renewable energy with energy storage.

“The problem of how to safely contain toxic nuclear waste for thousands of years has still not been resolved (1) and the history of nuclear power is one of accidents and some catastrophic ones.”

Councillor Nottage also criticised Labour prioritising investment in aviation.

“Minor improvements to the efficiency of aircraft will not negate the unregulated, uncontrolled carbon emissions of the aviation sector.

“The aviation industry’s non-binding goal of being net zero by 2050 is meaningless and, even if it were possible, would be too late to address the climate impacts of air travel. The Council should not be pandering to the fantasy that the aviation sector will be able to significantly reduce emissions through any other means than reducing the number of flights.

“When local Labour leaders decided to bid for failed former Prime Minister Liz Truss’s Investment Zone proposal, it had a choice of what it could bid for. (2) Instead of seeking funding for ‘green industries’ it chose instead to go for ‘advanced manufacturing’. Instead of technologies that could super insulate thousands of homes or have more of our energy generated locally by renewables, they chose to help an arms manufacturer build aircraft a little bit better for those who can afford foreign holidays. They chose to back the few who can afford flights, not the many who can’t afford their energy bills . They made the wrong choice”.


1 – Boeing, the world’s second largest arms manufacturer. Apache helicopters used to kill civilians

2 – Nuclear Waste clean up could cost £260 Billion
UK’s nuclear waste cleanup operation could cost £260bn | Nuclear waste | The Guardian

3 – Investment Zone Policy Prospectus
Investment_Zone_Policy_Prospectus.pdf (