Labour for a Green New Deal set to rank leadership candidates

Activist group Labour for a Green New Deal is set to produce “scorecards” for each of the Labour leadership candidates to test “their commitment to delivering a green new deal”.

The grassroots campaign has asked each of the contenders to answer five policy questions, which will allow them to be marked across ten key areas of the GND plan – from economic reforms to organisational methods.

The group, which was crucial in pressuring Labour to adopt an ambitious decarbonisation deadline at conference, plans to produce scorecards. These will be released – along with the candidates’ full responses – after a climate hustings.

The five questions are as follows:

  • What does “just transition” mean to you, and how will you plan for a rapid energy transition that works for all?
  • How will you build on Labour’s commitment to a green industrial revolution creating a million new green jobs in new green industries?
  • How will you extend democratic public ownership and universal basic services across the economy to address economic injustice and rapidly decarbonise?
  • What proposals do you support to ensure climate justice for people across the world, including those displaced by climate impacts and countries and peoples most affected by climate breakdown?
  • How will you work with grassroots campaigners, trade unions and local activists to develop Labour’s green new deal?

Commenting on the initiative, Labour for a Green New Deal spokesperson Lauren Townsend said: “We’re challenging every candidate to prove their commitment to tackling the twin crises of climate and inequality and subject themselves to real scrutiny on the biggest challenges we face.”

The left-wing lobby group is pushing for a climate hustings, where candidates would be questioned on the substance of their climate and environmental policies and how they will help working people.

The last election saw five of the party leaders take part in a similar hustings event, hosted by Channel 4, which Boris Johnson declined to attend. The Prime Minister was replaced with a melting block of ice.

The co-founder of the group, Angus Satow, added that while it was “great to see leadership candidates emphasise their climate credentials”, Labour members expect “more than warm words”.

There are ten areas across which the scorecards will evaluate the candidates:

  1. Working with grassroots movements;
  2. Local government;
  3. Green jobs and trade unions;
  4. Democratic ownership;
  5. Decarbonisation;
  6. Internationalism;
  7. Migration;
  8. Universal services;
  9. Ecological restoration;
  10. Communicating the green new deal.

At the last election, Labour set out plans to transition the UK to a green economy with a £250bn green transformation fund dedicated to renewable and low-carbon energy and transport, biodiversity and environmental restoration.

Friends of the Earth, an international network of grassroots environmental organisations, ranked Labour above all other political parties for its proposals for tackling the climate crisis.

Polling by BMG last week indicated that a policy to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2030 is popular with 70% of the British public.

Labour mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged to introduce a green new deal in London and make the capital net carbon neutral by 2030 if re-elected in May.

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