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SIR KEIR STARMER must fight for a “bold” green recovery that would see energy firms taken under public control and Britain go carbon net-zero by 2030, Labour activists have demanded.
Socialist Labour MPs, including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, have backed calls by members demanding that the new leadership stick to the party’s radical “Green New Deal” climate programme.
The programme was passed overwhelmingly by members last year after it was proposed by members’ grouping Labour for a Green New Deal.
This week the activists are calling for a “People’s Green New Deal” in the wake of the pandemic, which would involve taking key industries and utilities into public ownership.
The plan would not only “green” the economy but secure new “universal rights” to water, energy, broadband and warm homes after lockdown, they said.
Fossil-fuel subsidies should be scrapped as well as public stakes in failing airlines, the group added.
The plans have received the backing of Mr Corbyn, former shadow chancellor John McDonnell and 24 other socialist Labour MPs and peers, who want to see the new leadership push for policies that put climate action “at the heart of everything our country does as we rebuild.”
Co-founder of Labour for a Green New Deal Angus Satow said that the party must “renew its radicalism” amid the unprecedented crisis.
“That means fighting for millions of green jobs, universal rights delivered through public ownership, and international climate action. If not now, when?” he said.
The call comes as pressure mounts on the government to deliver a sustainable recovery from the pandemic.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised to launch a “green industrial revolution” in a mini-budget next month, to help to create jobs and invest in clean energy.
However, Mr Satow claimed that the Chancellor’s budget will “do little more than distract from a return to an exploitative economy.”
Today the committee on climate change warned ministers that the “window of opportunity is closing” on delivering a green recovery.
In its annual report to Parliament, the committee proposed measures to make homes more energy efficient, schemes to improve accessibility for people to cycle and walk to work, tree planting and restoring peatland.
Green groups urged the government to follow the recommendations.
Friends of the Earth climate specialist Muna Suleiman said that ministers must “stop squandering tens of billions of pounds on new roads,” and commit to providing cycle and walking routes to minimise car use.
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