Labour’s manifesto represents the most radical environmental offer ever proposed by a major party challenging for government.
It’s a remarkable response to the rapid advance of the ecological crisis there for all to see.
- Climate records are broken with ever-greater regularity.
- Pollution is choking our eco-systems.
- Oceans are 30 per cent more acidic than in pre-industrial times.
- Coral reefs are dying at an unprecedented rate.
- There will soon be more plastic in the oceans than fish.
- Species are becoming extinct at the rate of 200 a day.
It is also a result of the new level of struggle to defend the planet by both the inspirational school strikers and the XR protests – and to an increasing awareness of the ecological crisis inside Labour, reflected by decisions at the Labour Party conference.
Labour’s pledges include:
- An unprecedented £250bn green transformation fund over 10 years to implement a green industrial revolution.
- An £11bn a year ‘just transition’ carbon tax on the energy companies.
- A £60bn fund to retro-fit housing stock with insulation and renewable energy.
- Regulations to ensure that new homes are built to high environmental standards.
- A £14bn fund for the changeover to electric cars to protect against air pollution and reduce GHG emissions.
- One million high quality green jobs to facilitate this.
One weakness is that net zero emissions by 2030 agreed by Labour Party conference has been watered down to net zero in the 2030s – after objections (apparently) by some unions. That problem apart, this manifesto means that Labour is the only party to vote for to get a government which will take determined action to stop climate change.
It represents a remarkable step-change in the response to environmental devastation at governmental level. It sets a new standard against which other governments will have to measure their actions. It puts a Corbyn government in a strong to provide leadership at COP 26 in Glasgow next year.