The following motion was passed by Ouseburn Branch Labour Party to go forward to Newcastle East CLP. It was proposed by climate striker/UK Student Climate Network activist Abel Harvie-Clark and Newcastle City Unison rep Ed Whitby.
A couple of details in the motion are now out of date, but the demands it contains relating to how the idea of a Green New Deal can be made more concrete and radical are extremely relevant and important.
There is a debate starting in the climate movement and the labour movement about these issues and The Clarion wants to help develop it. Please send us any comments on the motion, any motions you are putting forward or any questions. We can also put you in touch with the proposers. firstname.lastname@example.org
We are gravely concerned by the accelerating threat of dangerous climate change. We are inspired by the school students’ climate strike globally, including the UK (next one 12 April).
• call on Newcastle East CLP to hold a public meeting to discuss these issues, hear from school strikers and what we can do,
• ask the Labour Council group to put a message of support for the school climate strikers, to commit to investigate how they can address issues included in the following motion such as changes to council housing (through demands on YHN [Your Homes Newcastle]), council buildings, energy and waste policies.
• propose the following to be submitted to Labour Conference.
A socialist plan to tackle climate change
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we have little over a decade to reduce carbon emissions to a level which can prevent runaway global warming. Capitalism’s fossil-fuel reliance is producing ever-increasing disasters.
Only a socialist system based on collective ownership and production for need, not profit, can guarantee a sustainable relationship between humanity and nature / defend biodiversity. Immediately we need radical, anticapitalist measures to tackle this emergency.
We welcome Labour’s pledges around creating “climate jobs”, but we need to declare a climate emergency, calling for:
• A national climate service/strategy, manufacturing, installing and training in renewable technologies and eliminating waste.
• Nationalising energy supply/generation including Big Six energy companies creating an integrated democratic national energy system. (Not public companies competing with private ones in the marketplace.)
• Nationalising public transport – bus, rail and tram part of an expanded, free or radically cheaper and democratic system.
• A public program of insulation and building and retrofitting zero-carbon council housing / public buildings.
• A million well-paid, public, unionised climate jobs, as demanded by the unions.
• Ending fracking, fossil fuel extraction and airport expansion.
• Work with unions to win investment in alternative, socially useful jobs and guarantee living standards and communities, not line up with employers to defend the indefensible.
• 100% of the country’s electricity and heat from renewable sources by 2030.
International action through partnerships with governments and labour movements. A radical Labour government should take the lead.
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