Delegates vote for Green New Deal embracing ‘socialist alternative’ to climate chaos

Marcus Barnett

This article originally appeared in Morning Star

A “BOLD, radical, socialist alternative” to climate chaos was embraced by Labour today after conference voted to back a Green New Deal.

Delegates at the party’s annual conference in Brighton passed a motion to decarbonise Britain by 2030 in order to tackle the climate crisis and reverse potential environmental catastrophe.

The topic was initially met with controversy, as the GMB union expressed concerns that the year 2030 was too early, saying there was “no credible plan for achieving zero carbon by that date,” and may lead to the loss of jobs.

A composite meeting took 10 hours – which the Star understands makes it the longest meeting of its kind in Labour history.

Campaigners, senior Labour figures and trade union leaders eventually agreed on putting forward two Green New Deal motions, both of which passed overwhelmingly.

The first was to contain a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and to heavily invest in new industries, as well as guarantee well-paid jobs with union recognition across economically deprived parts of Britain.

This motion, which was put forward by Labour for a Green New Deal, was backed by the CWU, BFAWU, TSSA and FBU.

It was the most popular motion sent to conference by local party members, with 128 CLPs backing the move.

Moving the Labour for a Green New Deal motion, FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “This is an industrial matter of the day. It is firefighters in the UK dealing with the effects that climate change has in the UK.

“We need a bold, radical socialist alternative. We need to face up to the systemic failure that has led up to this crisis – capitalism is destroying the world.

“Is this an agenda that will destroy industries? No – this is an agenda that will create new industries.”

The GMB’s motion – which included no year target for decarbonisation – was also put to conference and passed.

Labour for a Green New Deal spokeswoman Lauren Townsend 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.”