MPs launch Green New Deal Bill for the UK

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I share this from the Green New Deal Group, of which I am a member and active participant, out today:

As thousands gather for what is expected to be the UK’s biggest climate demonstration yet, MPs Caroline Lucas and Clive Lewis have launched the first legislative attempt to introduce a Green New Deal Bill in Parliament.  The Bill aims to transform the infrastructure of our society at the scale and speed demanded by the science, and at the same time to fix an economic model that continues to fail the majority of people, as well as to destroy the planet.

It is also a response to top demand of the climate strikers – to show that at least some politicians have a plan of action to meet the scale of the crisis and are listening to them. It directly addresses the climate crisis, accelerating biodiversity loss, and the destructive inequality in our society.

Launching the Bill, Caroline Lucas MP said:

The young climate strikers on the streets today don’t just want climate action, they want a Green New Deal that delivers for everyone. If we are to mend our broken democracy and give people hope for their future, we must invest in an economy where we live sustainably, differently and more equally.

“We know this is possible. We know it’s essential. Our system is in crisis and faces environmental and political breakdown. Our Green New Deal Bill, launched this morning, sets out an action plan. When parliament returns, we will be doing everything we can to make it happen.”

The key aims of the Bill are to:

·         Introduce legally-binding targets to cut emissions, reverse inequality and turn around the degradation of our environment, year-on-year to 2030, maintaining a zero carbon economy after that;

·         Change the way the Government manages the economy to enable extensive public and private investment in a Green New Deal;

·         Appoint a Green New Deal Commission to draw up a comprehensive action plan to transform our energy supply, transport system, farming, buildings and the way we work

The bill includes measures to:

·         Take back control from the markets to open-up opportunities for public-led investment in the Green New Deal

·         Make sure that the government, Treasury, Bank of England and the Debt Management Office cooperate so that the funding required for the Green New Deal will be available at the lowest possible price for society

·         End our fixation on growth and prioritise new measures that help guide us towards improvement in people’s health and well-being, the reduction of inequality, tackling the climate emergency, and the restoration and protection of the natural environment

·         Redistribute democratic power and resources to devolved government and elected mayors, including the power to raise their own green bonds

·         Guarantee climate justice, by ensuring investment across the UK, with a particular focus on de-industrialised areas and among the many communities who have been excluded from full participation in the economy and society

·         Transform our energy supply and transport systems, eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and reducing air pollution

·         Make housing energy-efficient, ensuring all new homes are zero-carbon and meet social need

·         Decarbonise our farming, reducing the ecological damage caused by current methods and improving our food system

·         Promote global justice by ensuring finance and technology for the global south, and by promoting the Green New Deal approach globally

Clive Lewis MP said:

“The message from the young people, trades unionists and other concerned citizens striking today is clear: the time for dithering and procrastination on this existential question must now end. Our demands are quite clear and quite simple: we want a Green New Deal that will radically change how our economy works and for whom.

“It will mean the democratisation of our economy on a scale not seen since 1945 but done for the twenty-first century, so that it empowers people and communities not ever more powerful, unresponsive bureaucracies. The rapacious economic system, driven by rampant inequality, that has dominated these past 40 years and lead us to the brink of catastrophe, must now make way for a political economy based on the needs of people and planet first. 

A report, The Green New Deal: A Bill to make it happen, by the Green New Deal Group – of which the MP Caroline Lucas is a member – accompanies the publication of the Bill.

The Decarbonisation and Economic Strategy Bill

Explanatory notes