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Campfire Voice - 23 Apr 2019


On a Momentum Zoom webinar on how to help bankrupt climate change tonight, Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell announced a bold policy statement for Labour "When we go into government, number one priority will be tackling climate change."

He congratulated Momentum activists for their actions in fighting "the new carbon economy", the Barclays Bank campaign and the practical demands that we have to place on corporations.

"We've supported Extinction Rebellion's actions and demands - especially in declaring a climate emergency. The direct action campaigns do work. They shift the whole agenda. Our policy commitment around net zero carbon economy is before 2050. That's what most of our advisors are saying is realistic but actually we're going to review that now and start looking at how we can bring that forward by more radical action and we'll be discussing that in the coming weeks.

"We've been arguing all the way through now that when we go into government, number one priority will be tackling climate change in terms of whole range of policy areas. My treasury team - we have Clive Lewis leading on behalf of our team to drive environmental economics deep into the heart of the treasury, that means first of all we're doing a review of the 'Green Book' ... is the criteria by which government investment decisions are made - we're doing a review of that to make it clear that our criteria will include tackling climate change in the top three. 

"The second thing is that the Office of Budget Responsibility was set up by the government to review decisions, largely around balancing the government's books

"We've also said that the OBR will be given a responsibility to review and report direct to parliament on all decisions by government in relation to climate change. This all sounds very bureaucratic but it means harnessing the government itself and its agencies of government to tackle climate change.

"The third policy is that we've been discussing how we review the mandate of the Bank of England so that their criteria in which it directs its own economic decisions and certainly how it directs the finance sector, we review the mandate to ensure that we're using every power that the Bank of England has to again prioritise climate change. We've been talking to Mark Carney, their governor for a while and he's been doing climate change stress tests and we want the Bank of England to have much more of a hands on approach. All of those policies are being developed in terms of my own team.

"Across the shadow cabinet each of the teams is looking at the environmental agenda for each of their policy areas. A general election could come sooner than we think. We're working on the basis that it could be as soon as October and we have to have our new manifesto ready for then and Jeremy has made it clear at the heart of it will be a green new deal and we'll be developing a 'green industrial revolution' with hundreds and thousands of new jobs specifically aimed at the environmental sector and specifically aimed at tackling climate change.




Ian Cuthbert

It's this deep, joined up policy thinking that convinces me more than ever that getting a Labour-led government is the number one priority for all of us. It's more important than whether or not we are a member of the EU.

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