It is now understood that the greatest threat to humanity – and the planet – is climate change. Labour introduced the parliamentary debate that led to the UK being the first nation to declare a Climate Emergency.
The planet can’t take any more. People will have to adapt to the changes that will inevitably take place. We’re never going to revert to a pre-industrial society, but we must be prepared to embrace less wasteful technologies, a less destructive food industry and less materialistic lifestyles.
The Labour Party is committed to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050, but with far greater use of renewable energy, along with greener transport and farming methods, the aim is to reach this target considerably earlier. Stroud District Council is one of those who have long term plans to become a Community Wealth Building council. That means using local services and companies whenever possible, reducing the council’s carbon footprint and keeping money within the area.
The idea is that communities and councils always give priority to local suppliers and services. For instance when building a new school, or hospital, or sports complex, etc, local firms will always be preferred to the big players to carry out the work. The same goes for services.
The next Labour Government will introduce a Green New Deal (GND), collaborating with scientists, industry and trade unions to work towards net zero carbon emissions by 2030. The UK’s infrastructure – transport, communications, energy and transport systems – have suffered from decades of underinvestment. Over the next ten years Labour will make £250 billion available to invest in a fit for purpose, green economy.
- Four million homes will be insulated, helping to cut carbon emissions, reduce bills and improve health.
- Grants will be available to make homes more energy efficient,
- Labour will make it easier to obtain solar panels.
- Energy will be taken back into public ownership in order to deliver renewable energy at an affordable price – bringing an end to fuel poverty.
Money earned in the locality will stay in the locality and benefit local people
Local energy cooperatives will be formed up and down the country, each using the most practical renewable energy sources in their locality. Under the Labour Green New Deal such local energy suppliers will be encouraged, especially if they are publicly-owned, or run by people’s co-operatives. The GND will replace old industries and technologies with new, sustainable ones; far from putting people out of work, thousands of new fairly-paid, unionised jobs will be created in every area – with training offered so people can adapt to them. Priority will be given to sourcing materials, components and services locally wherever possible.
The vast inequalities we see now will have to be addressed; a fully sustainable economy will by its nature focus far more on well-being than wealth. Commerce will have to be more localised: local credit unions will be created, house-building schemes, housing associations, food co-operatives – cooperatives and small businesses will become the norm rather than big business empires.
This commitment will entail the most radical change our society has seen, but will lead to a far more sustainable and equitable future. The next Labour Government’s introduction of a Green New Deal will cut down our carbon output by reducing transport of both people and goods and encourage green technologies. It will also create worthwhile employment opportunities in every region and reduce our dependence on the big corporations.
What’s not to like?