Green New Deal: Labour CAC bans motion for 2030 target and no airport expansion

By a conference delegate

• For the version finally passed, see here.

Yesterday’s Labour Party conference compositing meeting on Green New Deal motions split three ways. One motion, supported by the GMB union, included some radical bits but, crucially, no target for suppressing carbon emissions. The second, backed by far more CLPs and with the Fire Brigades Union as the mover, was more radical and specifically included a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, but hedged round with a qualification. The third, proposed by Leicester South on the basis simply of its own submission, was more radical still on some levels, and included an unambiguous 2030 net-zero target. (For the text of all three, see here.)

Having told the CLPs proposing the third motion it would be taken, Labour’s Conference Arrangements Committee has now declared it will not be. Simple: if you don’t like a motion, just put it in the bin!

This is, obviously, outrageous on the level of democracy and basic reasonable behaviour. It comes after earlier controversy in the compositing process for the GND motions.

It means that, if the CAC gets its way, delegates will be denied the right to discuss and vote on:

• Ending airport expansion (not included in either of the other two motions).
• Public ownership and democratic control of banking and finance (ditto).
• An unambiguous 2030 target. (The motion does talk about a just transition and in fact sets out very concrete and ambitious demands for it, but doesn’t pose it in a way that potentially weakens the target.)

In fact the two other motions have been shaped by and taken lots of demands and wording from the more radical GND motions The Clarion promoted to conference – on free or cheap public transport,  public ownership of the energy industry (the second motion is clearer on this than the first), repealing all anti-union laws and more. We are pleased and proud about that. But that is no excuse to deny conference the right to vote on more controversial – but, frankly, if we want to achieve any kind of serious targets, vital – radical policies.

Delegates should overturn the CAC, reinstate the Leicester South motion, and pass all three. And ask questions about why this kind of thing still goes on.

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