Ahead of the ‘Green Labour and Popular Environmentalism’ event taking place later this week, Natan Doron of the Fabian Society writes on the place for green ideas in Labour’s Policy Review.
New Labour, in government, endlessly preached about the measures being put in place to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. Reading such New Labour climate commitments now, there is a strong sense that some in the party saw climate change as if it were just another problem that could be confidently managed by technocratic solutions. This was of course a time when all the main political parties were falling over each other to demonstrate their commitment to fighting climate change. Our prime minster famously went to the trouble of hugging a husky just to convince voters unsure about the Conservative Party brand.
Fast forward to 2012 and things are very different. The chancellor George Osborne acts as climate sceptic in chief and the greener-than-thou days of the prime minister are but a distant memory. We are told that this is because the public no longer care. Continue reading
David Schoibl of the Labour Movement for Europe reports on the joint LME-SERA event held in Parliament in November.
Introducing the purpose of the event, the Labour Movement for Europe (LME) Chair David Schoibl pointed out that Europe can no longer be seen only as an issue of foreign policy and foreign relations. Rather, he said, the concept of Europe is an integral part of many broader policy areas, such as environmental policy. The event which the LME has co-organised with SERA (Labour’s Environment Campaign) is the result of the LME’s plan to highlight the importance of individual policy areas in the context of Europe, and is planned to be the first in a series of co-operations with other socialist societies, trade unions and other progressive organisations.
Opening the debate, David Norman, Campaigns Director at WWF said that from his perspective the European Union is a great example for what is possible when people cooperate. As an example, David mentioned the EU’s Water Framework Directive, which he calls ‘maybe the best piece of environmental legislation which has ever been done’. He explained that this directive is an example of how working together can make it possible to come up with real pragmatic solutions which overcome short-term interest which otherwise so often hampers the political process. Continue reading
Join us at our joint event with Labour Movement for Europe next week on the need for co-operation in Europe on environmental and energy issues.
6pm, 27 November
Committee Room 6, House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA
Our speakers are:
- Mary Creagh MP (Shadow DEFRA Secretary)
- Jonathan Gaventa (Programme Leader at E3G)
- David Norman (WWF Director of Campaigns)
- David Schoibl (Chair LME)
- Chair: Cllr Leonie Cooper (Co-Chair SERA)
Please allow for 20-30 minutes to make your way through security and up the stairs to the Committee Room. Hence, if you can aim to arrive at Parliament by 17:30, as we’ll be kicking off a 6pm sharp.
SERA, along with the Co-operative Party, the Local Government Information Unit and the Shadow DECC team, last week launched ‘The Power Book’, a new pamphet that looks at the potential of community and cooperatively owned energy.
Writing in the introduction to the book, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Caroline Flint said:
“This book is about power. And power relations. About the choices people have to power their homes and businesses and with what. About influencing the cost of energy whether by collective consumer action, community ownership or through reduced energy consumption. About local government and community organisations as low carbon energy providers with local buy in.
“In a world that is changing so fast the debate must be ongoing and The Power Book is a valuable contribution.”
Other authors in the book include:
- Alan Whitehead MP
- Gareth Thomas MP
- Cllr Sharon Taylor
- Melanie Smallman, SERA National Secretary
Deputy Mayor of Leicester Cllr Rory Palmer sets out how Leicester is on the road to becoming a Low Carbon City.
Adapting to, and tackling climate change is an area where effective policy linkage between national and local government is crucial. As important as international treaties and national legislation are, they are fairly meaningless without effective local action.
To deal with climate change and embed low carbon policy we need to see local government leading the way, bringing together the influence and commitment of partners from all sectors. In Leicester we have recently launched our new Low Carbon City Programme of Action. Continue reading
Following our AGM at the beginning of the month, the new SERA Executive held a successful fringe on Community and Co-operative Energy at the Co-operative Party Annual Conference. As we head back to Manchester next week for Labour Party Conference, we want to let you know about our fringe events there, bringing environmental debate and discussion to the heart of the Labour Party. Continue reading
On 10 July SERA and the Co-operative Party held a joint event to explore co-operative and community energy. Here Ash McGregor of the Socialist Societies Executive reports on the meeting.
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Caroline Flint spoke of the strong analogies between the energy and banking industries, with companies that owed a duty to their customers but who weren’t fulfilling those duties. The Government’s current Energy Bill doesn’t refer to customers and their needs and ministers haven’t provided a clear vision for energy. Labour would need to be a positive influence on the development of the Bill. Continue reading