A Labour government will disclose for the first time the “true impact” on the climate of Britain’s carbon emissions, Jeremy Corbyn is to warn.
The Labour leader will say that, currently, only greenhouse gases generated by goods and services produced within the UK are measured.
But, while these have been coming down, this ignores the emissions generated from goods imported into the country, which have “barely changed” in 20 years.
The result, he argues, is that the UK is effectively “offshoring” its emissions to the developing world.
Addressing Labour’s international social forum in London on Sunday, Mr Corbyn will say: “That isn’t tackling global emissions – it is passing the buck to poorer countries.
“It’s time we were honest about our contribution to the climate crisis: it is even greater than we think.
“So under Labour, Britain will become the first major economy in the world to measure these consumption emissions and take action to reduce them.”
Mr Corbyn will say that Labour would amend the Climate Change Act to instruct the Committee on Climate Change to include an assessment of the UK’s “total footprint emissions” in its annual report to Parliament, with recommendations to reduce them.
“We shouldn’t see this as a burden. Offshoring our emissions isn’t just bad for the climate, it’s bad for UK industry,” he will say.
“When we measure the emissions from goods produced in the UK but not those produced overseas, it puts industry here, especially energy-intensive industries like steel, at a disadvantage.
“So we will remove the perverse incentive to damage our own economy with no benefit to the climate.
“And we will send financial and technical support to the developing world, helping them adopt greener methods of production and reducing the carbon content of the goods we import.”