The motion for a Socialist Green New Deal passed by the Fire Brigades Union at its 2019 conference included a number of demands that have not been widely raised in this particular context.
That included repeal of anti-union laws so that workers can take industrial action over political issues such as climate change; and also “democratic public ownership of banking and finance, providing resources and economic leverage”.
This aspect of the possibilities opened up by a publicly owned banking and financial system was flagged up in the FBU’s original proposal to the TUC (passed but ignored) in 2012:
“This new form of banking could play a central role in building a sustainable economy, investing in transport, green industries, housing, creating jobs and assisting the recovery in the interests of working people.”
And the pamphlet the FBU published at the time (we understand a new version is coming soon) explained:
“A major programme of useful public works to create jobs and modernise infrastructure is needed. An estimated £55bn per year is needed to invest in ‘low-carbon infrastructure and related supply chain’ over the next decade and a half, according to the Green Investment Bank Commission. That adds up to £750bn needed by 2025 to help decarbonise the economy. Without the support of a publicly owned banking system, the jobs and the renewed infrastructure will not be created.”
A lot more needs to be discussed and written about this. We should fight to make this demand a central part of the movement for a labour movement-led socialist Green New Deal.
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