Grassroots campaign Labour for a Green New Deal officially launched in Parliament yesterday afternoon alongside shadow ministers. The event at a packed House of Commons was attended by dozens of Labour MPs and activists.
The launch, hosted by former Labour leader Ed Miliband, saw Labour’s Shadow Minister for Climate Justice and Green Jobs, Danielle Rowley, and Shadow Treasury Minister for Sustainable Economics Clive Lewis, speak alongside activists. They welcomed Labour for a Green New Deal’s ambition to decarbonise Britain as quickly as possible through a just transition.
Ed MIliband MP said: “The fundamental insight of the Green New Deal is not to see the climate crisis and inequality crisis as separate. Green and red together is the way we tackle the climate emergency, and that is why this is such an important initiative.”
Danielle Rowley MP said: “Our action on climate change must be inclusive", and commended “fantastic grassroots campaigns” like Labour for a Green New Deal for recognising that climate change is a class issue.
Clive Lewis MP said that the Green New Deal can’t just be about “tinkering” and instead called for “emergency socialism”, which he described as a “whole new political economy”.
Lewis urged for the UK to show international leadership as one of the first countries to industrialise, adding that trade and foreign policy “need to be part of the Green New Deal.”
Lauren Townsend, a trade unionist, councillor and Labour for a Green New Deal spokesperson, said: “As has been evidenced from the climate justice school strikes we’ve seen up and down the country, there is an entire generation of young people growing up now who are already politically engaged, who know what they want their futures to look like and who aren’t afraid to stand up and speak out.
"These young people need to know that the Labour Party has their backs and their best interests at heart.”
Commenting on the event, Labour for a Green New Deal co-founder, Clare Hymer said: “Today’s launch demonstrated the huge appetite for a transformative Green New Deal across the Labour movement, not just among the half a million members who make up our party’s grassroots, but also among MPs.
"We hope to see MPs continuing to work together alongside their local parties to make a radical Green New Deal programme a reality at party conference in September.”
Marianne Brooker is The Ecologist's content editor. This article is based on a press released from Labour for a Green New Deal.