Why is Labour’s Urgent Commitment to a Green New Deal Under Attack?


“There can be no doubt this was a stitch-up to keep progressive policy off the agenda.”

By the Labour Assembly Against Austerity Team.

The Labour left condemned the decision of Labour’s Governance staff and members of the Conference Arrangements Committee for ruling out a raft of resolutions to the 2021 Annual Conference on the subject of a Green New Deal. 

21 local Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) submitted a model motion from Labour for a Green New Deal – the campaigning organisation that championed policy passed at the 2019 conference. 

In response, Labour for a Green New Deal have called a demonstration for the first day of conference in response, outside the conference centre at 1.30pm on Saturday 25th September. 

The motion, titled ‘Green Jobs Revolution’, argued that Labour should promote a just, green recovery combining efforts to address unemployment, climate change, and public health.

Labour left MPs have condemned the decision.

John McDonnell MP said, “Labour Party members from numerous constituencies have submitted a resolution so that the Party Conference discusses a comprehensive policy for a Green New Deal to tackle the climate crisis. It’s been ruled out of order on spurious grounds. Appalling decision by Labour leadership”

Rebecca Long-Bailey, former Leadership candidate and Green New Deal policy champion as Shadow BEIS Secretary under Jeremy Corbyn, said, “Tackling climate change cannot wait! I truly hope this decision not to allow the Labour for a Green New Deal motion at conference is urgently overturned.

Socialist Campaign Group vice-chair, Bell Ribeiro-Addy said, “The reasoning for ruling the Labour for a Green New Deal motion out of order is totally spurious.

Frontbencher Rachael Maskell, said, “It is essential Labour debate Labour for a Green New Deal at Conference.

Clive Lewis said, “The Labour Party must play a role in challenging the very systems that have got us to where are now – a climate and democratic crisis. That means getting behind the Green New Deal.” 

Responding to the development, Momentum said, “One of the legacies of the last decade has been the emergence of a global movement, led by younger generations, to force politicians to take climate change seriously. We saw the energy of that movement in 2019, when the overwhelming majority of Labour Party members and affiliated trade unions voted for a Green New Deal. This is an issue that unites almost all Labour members and wider society.

So the decision today by the Conference Arrangements Committee to rule the Green New Deal motion out of order because it covers more than one subject is a disgraceful rejection of our responsibility to each other, to younger generations and to the rest of the world. Tackling climate change requires systematic transformation, and our policies in this area cannot be siloed into isolated, ineffective parts.

There can be no doubt this was a stitch-up to keep progressive policy off the agenda. While the right had a majority at [today’s meeting of] the Committee, the recommendation to remove the Green New Deal motion came directly from Labour Party staff. Responsibility lies with David Evans and with Keir Starmer, who pledged in his leadership election campaign to put the Green New Deal at the heart of everything we do.

It is now well known in the Labour Party that the pledges Starmer stood on are worthless, and it will soon be known to an entire generation of people who are looking to political leaders to stand up and take action against climate change. Without the support of these people, Labour will never again get into Government.

This is a reminder to those who believe you can have progresive policy without democracy, and that relying on the word of a Party leadership proven incapable of keeping it is a realistic strategy for delivering transformational change. It is not.

Real change requires a movement capable of confidently asserting its voice; working in partnership with politicians when they are willing, and holding them to account when they are not. Now is the time to make Starmer and Evans accountable. This is what the Labour Party Conference is for.

So join us in demanding a Green New Deal be put back on the agenda for Labour Party Conference, and join us in defending party democracy against the wave anti-democratic rule changes set to go to this year’s Conference – so we can have our voices heard, and we can use them to argue for those that don’t have a voice.”

Exeter High School 98 kW solar array.

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