Tracey Hill outlines the Brighton & Hove SERA event later this week.
The Green Party administration in Brighton and Hove has brought many challenges. One of these is where Labour should stand on sustainability. While the Tory-led coalition scuppers Labour’s carbon reduction plans at every turn, it is more important than ever that Labour continues to battle against climate change. But with severe budget cuts, we cannot afford to indulge in poorly-justified vanity schemes at the expense of key services. We need to ask ourselves how carbon reduction initiatives can be used to address the key challenges we face, such as rising living costs, youth unemployment and struggling businesses.
Sera Brighton and Hove invites you to a discussion event to consider which sustainability policies can help us now, as well as moving us towards a cleaner future. This will be a structured debate with policy starting points for small group and general discussion, so that everyone will be able to participate. While Brighton and Hove is the focus, many ideas have much wider applications and we welcome participants from across Sussex.
The event is open to all Labour Party members and their guests, as well as Sera members. If you are interested in sustainability or local policy, and have something to say on Labour and the environment, do come along! Coffee, tea and home-made cake will be provided.
Thursday January 24th at 7.30pm at the Pelham Room, Brighthelm Centre.
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.
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
It is an exciting and challenging time for co-operative and community energy generation and purchasing.
The Co-operative Party and SERA – the Labour Environment Campaign are co-hosting this event with leading players in the field. Co-operative pioneers, Midcounties, will speak about their Co-operative Energy service and we will also hear the new manifesto for co-operative and community energy from Co-operatives UK and the Co-operative Group. Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State Caroline Flint will lead the debate.
10 July, 7pm – 8.30pm
Committee Room 19, House of Commons
- Chair: Melanie Smallman – SERA
- Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP – Shadow Secretary of State, Energy and Climate Change
- Nigel Mason – Co-operative Energy
- Rebecca Willis – Co-operatives UK, Author of “Co-operative renewable energy in the UK. A guide to this growing sector”
Book your place here.
Last week, SERA’s joint Youth Officer Kieran Roberts organised an environmental policy forum with Luciana Berger MP and Lucy Powell for members of Young SERA and Manchester Young Labour.
Manchester Young Labour have posted some of the ideas from the event on their website- take a look.
SERA Scotland is holding a fringe meeting at the upcoming Scottish Labour Party Conference. Our event is supported by the Scottish Co-operative Party.
“Environmental Justice: a vote winner in May? Global to Local”
Saturday 3 March 2012, 6.15 pm at the Dundee Contemporary Arts, 152 Nethergate, Dundee
- Head of Campaigns and Communications, Friends of the Earth Scotland
- Cllr Richard McCready (Labour and Co-operative), Dundee City Council and Sustainable Development Spokesperson
Chair: Martin Rhodes, Chair SERA Scotland