Britain’s Labour Party has announced a major new green program, pledging to install solar panels on up to 1.75 million government-subsidized and low-income houses. In what has been called the start of a U.K. version of America’s Green New Deal, the goal of the project is to radically address climate change while creating green jobs.

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The Labour Party will provide free solar panels to one million government-subsidized homes and offer grants and interest-free loans for panels on up to 750,000 additional low-income homes. The panels will be enough to power the homes, providing residents with free electricity and savings of approximately $150 USD per year. Any additional electricity produced from the panels will return to the national grid, which the party says will become publicly owned by local authorities. The program will also provide nearly 17,000 jobs in the renewable energy industry.

Related: Britain celebrates first week without coal power since 1882

When completed, the 1.75 million solar-powered homes will reduce electricity-related carbon emissions by 7.1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, which is equivalent to taking four million cars off the road.

Like the Green New Deal, the Labour Party’s green revolution promises to benefit low-income people and spur economic growth. This so-called “just transition” provides democratic access to energy sources at affordable prices as well as support for current employees of carbon-emitting industries to gain skills in green industries like renewable energy and technology.

The program is led by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, who said, “By focusing on low-income households, we will reduce fuel poverty and increase support for renewable energy. Social justice and climate justice as one. Environmental destruction and inequality not only can, but must be tackled at the same time.”

Critics of the program, however, argue that solar panels on private residences are a distraction from addressing and regulating large-scale carbon polluters.

Via The Guardian

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