‘The National Policy Forum Interim Report lays out a set of [ten] principles that the policy commissions will build upon over the course of the election cycle looking to 2024.’
‘Your comments will be considered by the policy commission and will inform a fuller report covering two years of NPF activity, which will be taken to Conference in September 2021. If passed by delegates it will form part of our policy platform.’
‘Our task over the next five years is to build on Labour’s Green New Deal to meet the demands of the coming crisis, while also challenging the current government not to shy away from the steps that need to be taken in the immediate term.’
‘The Commission received nearly 2,000 written responses…’ [82% individuals, 11% organisations and 7% local parties.]
Ten principles have emerged from a consultation process with members, campaign groups, ‘trade unions, climate and environment NGOs, Labour Councils and the renewable energy sector.’:
‘Reducing our carbon emissions and restoring our natural world…’ (Principle i); ‘…led by science,..’ (Prin ii); ‘…bring together business, workers, unions, and communities…’ (Prin iii); ‘…credible economic plan… sustainable…fixing long-standing inequalities that scar our society.’ (Prin iv); ‘provide jobs…pride to communities…rich in biodiversity…rife with well-paid, unionised jobs for all.’ (Prin v); ‘”just transition”’ (Prin vi); ‘Devolved, regional and local administrations…’ (Prin vii); ‘…protect and restore our existing natural heritage.’ (Prin viii); ‘We recognise that free-market experiment in energy, water, rail and bus has failed. Alternative models of community, public and co-operative ownership will have a vital role to play…’ (Prin ix); ‘Labour’s Green New Deal will be internationalist,..’ (Prin x)
No mention of means for investment, national or regional, and no mention of the main culprits: big business and capital.
‘protect and restore existing natural heritage’ good, but no ‘returning the land to nature’s care’ formula. Even the Tories proposed this crucial, simple concept.
Following the ten principles the report collates key themes from the feedback, positive overall:
‘It was noted that proactive policies to restore nature and improve biodiversity – for instance, habitat restoration and the introduction of localised food systems – often also provide benefits such as reduced emissions or carbon sequestration.’
‘Labour’s Green New Deal will be as ambitious as possible while remaining led by the best existing science.’
As possible? There is no place for caveats when facing ecological collapse.
‘The vast majority of submissions focussed on the social and economic impacts of the Green New Deal, and the potential risks and opportunities posed by the transition to a more sustainable economy.’
The importance of this statement cannot be understated.
‘Numerous submissions argued that climate and environmental justice should not be seen as a barrier to economic growth but rather a potential source of jobs and prosperity.’
‘Other submissions suggested that a return to traditional and localised methods of production could fulfil a similar purpose.’
‘Many cited the decline of the mining sector in the 1980s and 90s, which led to widespread and long-lasting hardship in former pit communities, as an example of a model to avoid.’
‘Some submissions cited specific existing examples of good practice, where local and devolved administrations – most notably Labour in government in Wales – are already taking bold and innovative action which could be scaled up.’
‘There was strong feeling across submissions that alternative models of public, community and cooperative ownership need to play a central role in Labour’s Green New Deal.’
While some submissions recognised the need for private investment – particularly in research and development for new low-carbon technologies’.
This is not how business works, if the corona virus vaccination is anything to go by, with UK government spending £12bn by December 2020. Governments will have to supply majority of investment capital.
‘[T]he majority highlighted the limitations of market-based approaches to tackling the climate and nature crisis…a clear view from submissions that new models of ownership will need to be locally and democratically accountable rather than marking a return to the top-down and bureaucratic public corporations of the post-war period. [and again] Principle 9 reflects this strong desire from individuals, local parties and other organisations to see experimentation with new and more collective ownership forms.’
The membership know what they want.
‘Several submissions noted that the UK, as one of the first countries to industrialise, has historically been responsible for vastly greater emissions than the majority of countries around the world.’
This is absolute anathema to vested interests and the deep seated sentiment of nationalism.
A digest of ‘The National Policy Forum Interim Report on Environment, Energy & Culture 2021’. Digested.
The report shows a membership fully aware of the challenges and issues ahead as well the possible beginnings of a winning plan, by demonstrating local examples. To distil the findings of this report into one idea: localism. However, no mention of a national and/or regional banks to facilitate this economic inversion. Or how to rein in the destructive forces of capital, culpable for the destruction of the environment and communities alike. Now time for the policy. And leadership.
‘We want to hear your views on these principles, and welcome you to submit them via Labour Policy Forum: www.policyforum.labour.org.uk/make-a-submission.’