Published to coincide with the launch of the Green New Deal Bill, set down by MPs Caroline Lucas and Clive Lewis, this new report by the Green New Deal Group sets out what a Green New Deal will look like, explains what is in the Bill, formally known as the Decarbonisation and Economic Strategy Bill, and how it could transform all our lives for the better.
Campaigns for a Green New Deal are taking off around the world: sunrise movement in the United States, the pact for a Green New Deal in Canada, the Green New Deal for Europe initiative, and the Green MEPs who have been arguing for a Green New Deal for almost a decade. Labour for a Green New Deal have campaigned to put the Green New Deal front and centre of Labour Party policy and a new Green New Deal UK movement launches this week. The Green New Deal has been Green Party policy since 2008 and is undergoing a revival today.
In the UK, think tanks, normally characterised by the desire to find unique solutions are uniting around the call for a Green New Deal. Common Wealth published their comprehensive Roadmap for a Green New Deal, IPPR are hosting the Commission on Environmental Justice and the New Economics Foundation, publishers of our 2008 proposal for a Green New Deal have published reports on the changes needed to our finance system.
All this chimes with what people across the UK are increasingly saying they want to see. Repeated opinion polls confirm just how important action on climate change is to the British public. Two-thirds of people in the UK recognise there is a climate emergency. Seventy-six per cent say that they would cast their vote differently to protect the planet. Six out of ten adults in the UK believe that the government is not doing enough on climate change. They are right. Where the climate is concerned, winning slowly is the same as losing. We must act now. The climate will not wait. Neither can nor should we accept the corrosive inequality that is tearing society apart. That can’t wait either.
There is no shortage of expertise that could help draw up the plan for rapid transition: numerous environmental groups and policy experts from across the political parties have drawn up reports detailing how the UK could rapidly decarbonise in a way that also answers pressing social challenges. The UK parliament, Scottish and Welsh governments and councils across the UK have all declared climate emergencies. In terms of practical action, many of our towns and cities have been leading the way and there are a plethora of examples we can learn from around the world.
The detail will change as the Green New Deal develops, and with contributions from people from all walks of life, particularly those on the front line of change. It is the start, not the end, of a conversation, and it is a conversation we will all need to be part of.
Workers want to work in the economy of the future but need assurances that the jobs created will be good, secure, unionised jobs. Businesses want to move into new, green sectors, and investors are keen to support the transformation, but both need the confidence that can only be provided by government. The skills, ambition and potential of people across the UK knows no bounds. As we have before, we can come together to create a society that is better for all of us – but we will need bold action from government to make that possible. The Decarbonisation and Economic Strategy Bill sets out what government needs to do to unleash that potential.
The Green New Deal Group, September 2019
Ask your MP to sign EDM #2724, Green New Deal Bill
Join the movement for a Green New Deal – Green New Deal UK