Can the Labour Party reclaim the future from catastrophic climate change?

Rebecca Long Bailey speaking at Preston New Road anti-fracking protest, Oct 8 2014. Photo: Refraction

In a week of fracking irony, can the Labour Party reclaim the future from catastrophic climate change, asks Sam Mason?

It’s a decade since the Labour Party pioneered the ground-breaking Climate Change Act 2008. A rare moment of political consensus forged in the centre ground of New Labour and Tory beyond ideology visions of the ‘modern market economy’.  Responses to climate change if anything, are ideological in their economic and political basis and absurd that solutions can be left to the market waiting for signals.  Surely the scientific signals that we have twelve years to stabilise emissions are paramount and reassuringly something the Labour Party are finally addressing opposing the dogma of the market.  But is the party ready to “reclaim the future” with a transformative and ideological vision as Rebecca Long-Bailey said in her keynote speech at the party conference in September?

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Time to strengthen Climate Change Act

The Labour Party’s consultation document, A Greener Britain, seeks proposals about different aspects of environmental policy. In this series of articles, Redgreenlabour supporters offer their thoughts. Please comment on these contributions which the authors may well revise and submit to the consultation in due course. We also urge you to submit your own responses to the Party – whether as individuals or through your branches, CLPs, unions, SERA or other environmental groups. The deadline is 24th June.

Q:  What steps need to be taken for the UK to put itself on course to meet climate targets?

The Climate Change Act 2008 was a notable Labour Party achievement, making the UK the first nation to set a legislative obligation to tackle climate change, writes Sam Mason.  Progress towards the target “to ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline” has been made. Largely achieved through emissions reductions from the power sector by phasing out coal for example, it’s now time to urgently tackle the more difficult areas of transport, buildings, and industry.

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