Growing the Grassroots Movement for ‘The Green New Deal’

This piece was authored by SCA founding-member Joan Miller.

It is now more than clear that we need a bold and radical plan to fight the climate crisis at the scale that scientists say is necessary. Can we now create an unstoppable political momentum for a bold, dynamic and creative cross-party response to the climate crisis?

The Green New Deal is the most comprehensive and politically live climate solution currently on offer. A ‘Green New Deal Bill’, was taken to the UK Parliament on 20th September, coinciding with the largest Climate Crisis demonstration in history. A non political GND organisation has been set up to support the Green New Deal movement. A number of books have been written on the GND, notably one by Naomi Klein called ‘On Fire: the Burning Case for the Green New Deal. ‘

One of Naomi Klein’s chapters is called “Movements will make, or break, the Green New Deal”. She cites pressure from the left, in the form of militant movements and political parties, that delivered the most progressive elements of the original 1930s New Deal and the Marshall Plan. “That’s important to remember because the Green New Deal plans currently on offer from political parties in North America and Europe still have weaknesses and will need to toughened and expanded, just as the original new deal was over time.”

What are the key elements of the Green New Deal? This is taken from the UK Student Climate Network website:

What is it? The GND will fundamentally restructure our economy to deliver good jobs and a liveable future. Here are the minimum standards:

1. Totally decarbonise the economy of the UK through a government led, ten year mobilisation for a just and prosperous transition including the infrastructure needed to benefit all communities and workers.
2. Create millions of new well paid and secure jobs ensuring sustainable and meaningful livelihoods for all workers, including those in today’s high emissions sectors.
3. Massively reduce social and economic inequalities with targeted investment in communities where it is most needed in the UK as a result of history and current oppression, and the green economy that emerges will operate equitably and work in the interest of these communities.
4. Protect and restore vital threatened habitats and carbon sinks, and ensure the provision of clear water air, and green spaces, securing a safe and health environment for all.
5. Build a resilient society prepared for impacts of climate change that are now unavoidable, readying ourselves in unity to meet these challenges in a way that protects the most vulnerable including; de-industrialised communities; the global south; deprived rural areas; communities of colour; migrant communities; low income workers; women; the elderly; the homeless; people with disabilities; and young people.

November meeting At our SCA open meeting on Tuesday 19th November, we’ll be discussing the Green New Deal and how it can impact us locally with activists from Central Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

Background reading
There are new and established UK economic think tanks that are doing the back ground work on possible GND strategies in the area of finance, land, jobs, no growth etc.