Labour left candidate for the deputy leadership Richard Burgon has today set out a plan to launch an official “green” section of the party, which would be called the ‘Labour Climate Justice Network’.
The network would be open to all Labour members at no cost, and the Burgon deputy leadership campaign estimates that it would likely attract more members than the Green Party, which currently has around 50,000.
The aim would be for the body to “help develop Labour thinking” on the climate crisis and link the party to climate justice movements outside of parliament – from the school strikers to Extinction Rebellion.
The Labour Climate Justice Network would push for every Labour constituency party to elect a climate justice officer as one of the posts on its executive committee. They would be responsible for building grassroots connections and overseeing political education.
Announcing his fresh idea, which would be implemented if he is elected in April, Burgon said: “Climate change is the greatest single threat facing humanity. It is the worst ever market failure and is driven by capitalism’s endless focus on making super-profits – whatever the cost for people or the planet.
“We are the last generation that can prevent runaway climate breakdown. So, as a society, we have to end the ‘business as usual’ approach. Labour must lead the way to ensure we do.
“Labour is already at the cutting edge of this debate with our innovative Green Industrial Revolution. This official “green” section of the party will help to ensure that tackling climate catastrophe remains at the heart of everything we do.”
The network would work with existing campaigns already linked to the Labour Party, such as official affiliate SERA, as well as Labour for a Green New Deal, which would pushed for conference to approve a 2030 net-zero carbon target.
This ‘green’ section move follows a series of suggestions by Burgon during his campaign, from making conference sovereign and giving party members a vote on military action to setting up a Tony Benn University of Political Education.
Voting has started in Labour’s deputy leadership contest, which will end along with the main leadership race on April 4th when the results are announced by the party.