Labour commits to decarbonisation by 2030 with Green New Deal

Labour members and trade unions vote for transformative Green New Deal which would decarbonise Britain by 2030, nationalise big six energy companies and guarantee good unionised green jobs.

Brighton, 24 September 2019

The Labour Party has today adopted Labour for a Green New Deal’s groundbreaking plan to decarbonise Britain by 2030 with a radical policy package to increase social and economic justice.

Delegates at the party’s annual gathering in Brighton voted in favour of adopting a Green New Deal with a 2030 decarbonisation target by an overwhelming majority on conference floor on Tuesday afternoon.

Labour’s biggest union backers including Unite, Unison, CWU, ASLEF, TSSA, BFAWU and FBU, united behind the motion for a socialist Green New Deal.

The Socialist Green New Deal passed today is based on a motion put forward by Labour for a Green New Deal. It commits Labour to aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, nationalisation of the big six energy companies, the guarantee of new good unionised jobs as part of a worker-led just transition, free or affordable integrated green public transport, and support for the Global South and climate refugees.

A 2030 target puts Labour well ahead of any of the major parties, with the Conservative Party aiming for net-zero by 2050 and the Liberal Democrats by 2045.

The vote came as a result of 128 constituency Labour parties (CLPs) electing to send Labour for a Green New Deal’s motion to this year’s party conference - more than for any other issue - which put climate top of the agenda in Brighton.

Lauren Townsend, trade unionist and spokesperson for Labour for a Green New Deal, said: 

“Environmental breakdown is a class issue which requires working class solutions. The Labour movement has voted to take leadership on the climate emergency with a response which puts people and planet before profit. Now the ambition has been set, it is time for our movement to come together to build a Green New Deal from the ground up in every town, village and city.”

Notes

  1. Labour for a Green New Deal is a grassroots campaign pushing for the Labour Party to adopt a transformative Green New Deal to meet the challenges of climate change and inequality. Launched on 22 March 2019, it is comprised of thousands of Labour Party members, with active local groups spread across the country, from Cornwall to Glasgow. https://www.labourgnd.uk

  2. A number of media trained spokespeople are available for interviews throughout Labour conference. To arrange a booking contact Simon Youel at press@labourgnd.uk or on 07817765517

  3. The full Socialist Green New Deal motion reads:

Conference notes:

To prevent the worst effects of climate change, we must keep global temperature rises below 1.5°C.

Over 1°C of warming has taken place, causing floods, droughts, heatwaves, pollution, and hundreds of thousands of deaths. The poorest suffer most.

Just 100 companies are responsible for the majority of carbon emissions; and the Conservative government is deregulating the fossil fuel industry and cutting support for renewables.

Labour has supported the youth strikes for climate and Extinction Rebellion, pushing the climate emergency up the national agenda.

The UK has accrued wealth since industrialisation through disproportionately high emissions, while the poor, the global south, and women suffer the greatest climate impacts. Domestically and internationally: Social, economic and gender justice is inextricable from climate justice.

Combining decarbonisation with a progressive restructuring of the economy gives us the possibility to both create green jobs and fight the threat of climate chaos.

Conference believes:

The cost of decarbonisation must be borne by the wealthiest not the poorest.

Decarbonisation could produce thousands of well-paid, skilled jobs in renewables and the supply chain. This will be based on public ownership and democratic control.

In a workers-led ‘just transition’ from high-emission jobs to alternatives; public investment guaranteeing communities and living standards.

A Green New Deal is therefore now a demand we must make.

Conference therefore calls on the Labour Party to include a Green New Deal in the manifesto:

a state-led programme of investment and regulation, based on public ownership and democratic control, for the decarbonisation and transformation of our economy that reduces inequality and pursues efforts to keep global average temperature rises below 1.5°C.

In power Labour will:

In collaboration with the trade unions and the scientific community, work towards a path to net zero carbon emissions by 2030, guaranteeing an increase in good unionised jobs in the UK, and the cost of which would be borne by the wealthiest not the majority; and implementing this target into law if it achieves a just-transition for workers.

Introduce a complete ban on fracking.

Oversee a just transition, increasing the number of well-paid, unionised green jobs in the UK through:

public ownership of energy, creating an integrated, democratic system;

public ownership of the Big Six;

large-scale investment in renewables and low-carbon energy.

Repeal all anti-union laws, facilitating worker-led activism over social and political issues, including climate change.

Address regional economic imbalances and areas of deprivation.

Ensure the costs of decarbonisation are borne by the wealthiest through progressive taxation, not working people and their families.

Take transport into public ownership and invest in expanded, integrated, free or affordable green public transport that connects Britain, including:

rail electrification;

continued support for high-speed rail, because of the additional capacity that it will

create for rail freight on the West Coast Mainline, removing polluting HGVs and other vehicles from roads;

the transition to sustainably powered rail freight;

creation of rail freight interchanges;

community transport;

investment in electric buses that can reconnect local communities;

integrated public transport timetabling;

local schemes that make walking and active travel safe, attractive, environmentally sustainable options, benchmarked against European practice;

a radical car scrappage scheme to increase electric vehicles.

Tackle fuel poverty and assure everyone’s basic rights through the provision of universal services.

A radical programme to up skill the UK workforce to develop, manufacture and manage the greening of the UK.

Building and retrofitting of zero-carbon social and council housing and public buildings with lowest possible embedded carbon in construction.

Support developing countries’ climate transitions through free or cheap transfers of finance, technology and capacity.

Welcome climate refugees while taking measures against the displacement of peoples from their homes.

Promote the international exchange of technology, expertise, products, resources and services to learn from and help other countries achieve a Green New Deal.

Implement a programme of ecological restoration to increase biodiversity and natural carbon sequestration.

Measure and tackle consumption emissions, not just those produced on UK soil.

Work collaboratively with farmers to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector.

Press for heavy UN penalties on “ecocide” damage to climate-sensitive habitats internationally.