As thousands gather for what is expected to be Britain’s biggest climate demonstration yet, MPs Caroline Lucas and Clive Lewis are launching the first legislative attempt to introduce a Green “new deal” bill in Parliament.
According to the Green Party, the bill aims to transform the infrastructure of our society and at the same time fix an economic model that continues to fail the majority of people and destroy the planet.
They say that it’s also a response to a key demand of the climate strikers and is being formally announced today to show that at least some politicians are listening and have a plan of action to meet the scale of the crisis.
It is intended to address the climate crisis, accelerating biodiversity loss, the unsustainability of current farming methods and the destructive inequality in our society.
Ms Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, 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 an 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. After 2030 Greens say that they will maintain a zero-carbon economy.
- 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 co-operate so that the funding required for the Green new deal will be available at the lowest possible price for society.
- End our fixation with 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 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 worldwide.
A report, The Green New Deal: A Bill to make it happen, by the Green New Deal Group – of which Ms Lucas is a member – accompanies the publication of the bill.
The Decarbonisation and Economic Strategy Bill was first set down by Caroline Lucas MP and Clive Lewis MP in March and tabled in full just before Parliament was prorogued.
An explanatory note to the Bill, produced by the Green New Deal Group is available at greennewdealgroup.org with the fifth report of the Green New Deal Group: The Green New Deal: A Bill to make it happen.
Roz Scott is a freelance journalist based in Brighton and Hove. You can read more of her articles at www.rozscott.com.