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The Labour Party must be the standard bearer for a greener planet – Gemma Bolton

We’re walking into a Climate Emergency

Over the last decade, we have witnessed climate breakdown taking place right before our very eyes. We are seeing more severe droughts and heatwaves, increased, more intense hurricanes and glacial retreat as vast quantities of land ice melts. If things don’t change soon, there is evidence to suggest that the melting permafrost may release ancient diseases trapped within it into the atmosphere, with potential repercussions way beyond those of COVID-19.

If we do not adopt robust, radical policy on an international level, we will soon be walking into a global disaster.

Young people’s activism in this regard, organising climate strikes, taking a leading role in pressuring and shaping cross-party policy and forcing world leaders to confront the immediacy of this crisis, has been incredible. Refusing to sit back whilst leaders have taken young people’s futures for granted, they have fundamentally shifted the political agenda, empowering grassroots activism and engaging their generation in the fight for a better world.

Now more than ever, the Labour Party must be the standard bearer for a greener planet.

Our last manifesto set out robust plans to decarbonise our economy and offset emissions, including huge investment in green energy technology, electric public transport and zero emission homes together with good, unionised green jobs to rebuild our lost industry all over the country. Mass job losses are occurring due to coronavirus, and many employers are taking this crisis as an opportunity to destroy hard-won working conditions. The Labour Party cannot simply call for imaginary ‘jobs jobs jobs’. We must have a plan for creating those jobs: good jobs for now and for future generations, setting the example for good employment in the country.

Our radical green manifesto, crafted by Rebecca Long-Bailey, was pioneering in its vision of how we as a country can fight climate breakdown. We must stand firm on the commitments to green issues laid out in the 2019 manifesto and promote these ground-breaking plans for a sustainable planet on the global stage.

If elected onto the NEC I will seek to use all available avenues to influence policy development and promote members’ submissions on the climate emergency issue. This will mean engaging with the National Policy Forum until we’re able to reform it into a more democratic policy formation process. I will also attend the Clause V meeting to argue for incorporation of radical environmental commitments into the manifesto, based on conference and policy committee work. The NEC must fight to maintain and progress the policy platform laid out over the last few years.



This article by Gemma Bolton is the third in a series of blogposts DLO is publishing from members of the Grassroots Voice team of candidates for the Labour Party’s NEC elections.

Contact Gemma: [email protected] | @gembolton

Other #GrassrootsVoice candidates, supported by the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA), are Yasmine Dar, Ann Henderson, Nadia Jama, Laura Pidcock and Mish Rahman.