Some interesting new green noises were among the many issues addressed by Jon Cruddas in his keynote speech to Compass at the LSE yesterday evening. Cruddas, “We need to marry up the core values of the greens and the Labour movement and join the dots between democracy, equality and ecological sustainability." He called for a reversal of the decision on the proposed third runway at Heathrow and the introduction of new emissions performance standards for power stations.
“We need to marry up the core values of the greens and the Labour movement and join the dots between democracy, equality and ecological sustainability. The ecological crisis, like the economic crisis is hitting the people Labour was founded to protect.
“Social democracy must be built on sustainable foundations and global economic recovery has to be low-carbon. Transforming economies needs strong, strategic state intervention. By harnessing the wind and the waves, we can move toward energy independence. We can build on the ingenuity in our universities and the skills of our graduates to create millions of new green jobs and restore the place of British manufacturing in the world.
“Stern highlighted the ‘the greatest market failure in human history’. Young people are already joining up these dots. They are joining and leading the emerging climate movement. Like the early socialism, the new ecological movements are making politics personal and moral. They are asking the important questions about the ways we live and what it means to be human.”
Among the policy proposals he outlined was a call for the government to reverse its decision on Heathrow expansion. This is noteworthy since in January Cruddas did not vote for an opposition day motion calling for a rethink on the proposed third runway. The vote was the biggest Labour rebellion on an opposition day motion since 1997.
Equally important, Cruddas called for the introduction of new emissions performance standards for power stations. This is something that Greenpeace, WWF, RSPB and Oxfam have been campaigning for as a way to rule out dirty coal stations like the one proposed by E.ON for Kingsnorth in Kent. The idea for these green standards for power plants – an approach successfully pioneered in California – already has the backing of both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. The move marks a reversal on Cruddas’ previous position.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.