Labour MPs call for Green New Deal

23rd July 2019

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Thomas Waddell

The grassroots campaign Labour for a Green New Deal was officially launched in parliament yesterday with the help of various high-profile MPs and activists.

The campaigners called for the UK to adopt a 2030 net zero emissions target, public ownership of energy companies, green transport services for all, and a just transition for workers.

Inspired by US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 'Green New Deal', the authors hope their proposals will be adopted at Labour's annual conference in September.

Former leader Ed Miliband was present at yesterday's launch, and outlined how tackling the climate crisis and inequality together could result in the 'biggest mobilisation of Labour seen since WWII“.

“Green and red together is the way we tackle the climate emergency,“ he said. “There are millions of jobs that will need to be done in a fair way, and a just transition must be at the heart that.

“Whether you come at this from a climate issue or social justice issue, this is something that can bring people together – there is no more urgent issue that we face.“

Labour's shadow minister for climate justice and green jobs, Danielle Rowley, and shadow treasury minister for sustainable economics, Clive Lewis, also spoke at the launch.

Lewis said that the Green New Deal can't just be about “tinkering“ and instead called for “emergency socialism“, which he described as a “whole new political economy“.

He outlined how everything from accounting to defence to would have to be reformed to address the scale of the climate crisis, arguing for “radical system change“.

“We sign off company accounts even if they are pumping out carbon and destroying the environment,“ he continued. “We have to change how our economy and society work.

“When you look at the refugee crisis, Syrian war, crop failure, they are all linked, so our foreign policy and development policy, all of these will need to involve the Green New Deal to put us on a sustainable footing.“

This comes after the Labour Party unveiled its 'Green Industrial Revolution' plans last May, which include a proposal to install solar panels on nearly two million homes.

But Rowley said yesterday that it was important for grassroots campaigns to recognise that climate change is a class issue, adding: “Our action on climate change must be inclusive.“

Image credit: Labour GND


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