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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 May 2019

Labour's nationalisation plan: What policies are needed to avert climate catastrophe?

Nationalise the big six energy companies!

Nationalise the big six energy companies!   (Click to enlarge)

Michael Johnson, Leeds Socialist Party

Jeremy Corbyn has announced a 'Green Industrial Revolution.' The plans include nationalising the gas and electricity supply - taking the National Grid into public ownership.

Labour's 'Bringing Energy Home' also promised that in government they would fit nearly two million homes with solar panels, and give interest-free loans and grants to help a further 750,000 homes install solar panels.

Labour commits to generating at least 60% of the UK's electricity and heat from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2030 in response to the UN's 12-year deadline to avert a global climate catastrophe. While a positive step, there is still more Labour, and particularly Labour councils, could do to tackle climate change now.

Climate emergency

At present, Labour councils are, on the whole, at best, declaring 'climate emergencies' while taking few of the steps they could to make real change.

In some areas, Labour councils are carrying out plans that will lead to increased carbon-dioxide emissions - as is the case where I live in Leeds. Leeds Labour Council has declared a climate emergency, but is expanding Leeds-Bradford Airport.

Instead, councils should invest in and develop public transport to make it cheaper and easier for working-class people to reduce car usage. This would require taking public transport out of the hands of the privatisers.

Homes

Councils should build new, green, carbon-neutral, council homes that can reduce energy consumption. Councils would have to resist rather than implement the cuts brought on by Tory austerity, and use their reserves and borrowing powers in the short term while they mobilise working-class support to win the money back.

The recent climate change movement has seen thousands take to the streets. This has certainly had an impact on Labour announcing these policies.

However, the key to building real action means mobilising the organised working class and campaigning for trade unions to take action.

They should organise around a socialist programme that fights for investment into safe forms of renewable energy, renationalisation of privatised utilities and public transport under democratic workers' control, step-up research on green energy, waste reduction and energy saving and a democratic socialist plan of production that puts people and the environment first.

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In The Socialist 22 May 2019:


International socialist news and analysis

What lies behind the US-China trade war?

Sri Lanka - Ten years after the brutal end of the war

Reject Alabama abortion ban


News

Labour's nationalisation plan: What policies are needed to avert climate catastrophe?

British Steel threatened closure


What we think

European elections expose deepening political crisis: Workers need a party of our own


Workplace news

Birmingham home carers victory

Probation workers celebrate case management renationalisation

Fantastic RMT London Underground victory

Woolwich ferry workers begin ten days of strike action

Morrisons workers reject pay offer

Unite young members' conference

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

4 June - Walk out against Trump! Climate criminal not welcome

Domestic abuse accommodation: Tories shift - but safety is more than a bed

Haringey: Socialists' stance fully vindicated

Anger and frustration at the establishment

Lifting the mood

Socialist sales boost

Pouring cold water on the Riverside estate

Worcester Tories stonewall action on climate change

Day of action against cuts to special needs education


Opinion

Opinion: socialists must link climate struggle to power of organised workers

The Socialist Inbox


 

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