Labour has created a new post, shadow minister for climate justice and green jobs, and appointed Scottish MP Danielle Rowley to the role.
It is hoped that the move will draw attention to policies designed to benefit the environment, such as a ban on fracking, developing offshore wind energy and creating high-skilled, unionised, UK-based green jobs.
As well as helping to promote Labour’s plans for a ‘green industrial revolution’, Rowley will liaise with popular movements and hear the concerns of school strikers and other climate crisis activists.
Rowley was only recently elected in 2017 and has a slim majority of just 885, having won the Midlothian seat back from the SNP at the last election. The Scottish MP chaired Richard Leonard’s leadership campaign and is widely regarded as a firm Corbynite.
The new Labour frontbencher said: “As a campaigner I’m really excited that I’ll be working more closely with the climate movement, including the inspiring youth climate strikers, to urgently move the issue forward.
“Since parliament declared a climate emergency and adopted the 2050 net zero target the government has not introduced a single practical measure that will help the UK to lower its emissions.
“As a priority, I will be using my position to push them to immediately ban fracking, stop blocking onshore wind and extend free bus travel to under 25s.
“We need to kickstart a green industrial revolution in the UK informed by diverse voices both within and outside of the climate movement.”
Chris Saltmarsh, co-founder of campaign group Labour for a Green New Deal, commented: “The questions of climate justice and green jobs will define our politics in the years to come, so it is great to see that Labour is appointing a frontbench role to engage with popular movements to build socialist and democratic solutions.
“We hope the leadership also listen to the popular movement within the party calling for a Green New Deal, which would be the best means of guaranteeing green jobs and genuine climate justice. We look forward to meeting Danielle Rowley to discuss how to take this proposal forward.”