Youth strikers call for a Green New Deal on budget day
From summer heatwaves to winter flooding, wildfires to hurricanes – the impacts of climate breakdown can no longer be ignored.
Here in the UK and around the world, the communities being hardest hit are those already struggling and who are least responsible for climate breakdown – especially poor and working class people and communities of colour.
Coronavirus has laid bare the shocking scale of inequality and poverty we live with. After this pandemic, we can’t just go back to business as usual – to a system that puts the profits of a few above a safe climate and the health and wellbeing of us all.
It’s time we took a different path. It’s time for a Green New Deal.
The Green New Deal is a government-led plan to tackle climate breakdown and build a society where all of us can live better lives. It’s a plan to:
Rapidly cut our emissions by modernising our energy, transport, housing and food systems
Create millions of secure and well-paid jobs that benefit our communities and cut carbon – jobs that are desperately needed to prevent mass unemployment after the pandemic
Build thriving public services – investing and expanding our health and social care, transport and education systems
Tackle rampant inequality by investing first in communities that need it most
Stand shoulder to shoulder with people around the world fighting for a safe climate and fair chance.
We have the resources to achieve these things, and we know that the majority of people are behind us. But right now, we’re being held back from this future by the tiny minority who benefit from keeping things as they are, and by politicians who serve their interests ahead of ours.
They try to divide us – pointing the finger at poor people, migrants, people of colour, and society’s most marginalised, blaming our broken system on people with the least power to speak up. They have shaped the world to work for them, but not for all of us.
The Green New Deal is a big and ambitious government plan: we know winning it won’t be easy. But history shows that with two key ingredients, we can achieve big and ambitious things.
To win a Green New Deal we need:
People power: a large, diverse, vocal and active base of public support
Political power: a critical mass of supportive politicians.
We know that winning a Green New Deal will be harder under a hostile government. But we don’t have time to wait around. By focusing on building a powerful base of support, we set the stage for the Green New Deal to be won as quickly as possible.
Here’s how we’ll do it:
Build a network of local Green New Deal Hubs in every town and city that win community support and put pressure on our political representatives
Come together for actions that spread our message and demonstrate the scale of our support Tell a powerful story that brings the Green New Deal to life and inspires people to action
Build pressure in parliament by lobbying politicians and fighting for policies that lay the groundwork for the Green New Deal.
History shows that we can’t sit back and rely on politicians to deliver the Green New Deal by themselves – the kind of change we’re calling for needs people to stand up and fight for it.
The movement for a Green New Deal is growing and everyone has a role to play. We know the majority is already on our side; if we unite in our masses – we can turn that into a power no politician can ignore.
At the core of our plan is the work of local Hubs. Working at a local level is our best chance to grow the movement and build community support for the Green New Deal. If you’re looking for a place to start, try joining one of our welcome calls, or use the Hubs map to get in touch with a group local to you.
We are fighting for a Green New Deal in the UK: because we understand that the crises of climate and inequality are inextricably linked, and only an ambitious plan to totally transform our economy can deliver a safe climate and fairer society. We aim to bring the principles behind the Green New Deal and climate justice movement into our work every day.
We believe in people power: the success or failure of a Green New Deal rests on the size and diversity of the movement we build together. We work to build a broad and inclusive movement by constantly bringing people in, growing in strength, diversity and power.
Our success relies on working together. We are all stronger when we support each other and recognise where our struggles are connected. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends and allies across movements for climate, social, racial and economic justice and will collaborate to grow our power.
We build relationships based on justice and respect. There is no place in our movement for discrimination or unjust power relationships on the basis of race or ethnicity, class background, gender, immigration status or nationality, ability, sexuality, language, financial means, or anything else. We build ‘braver spaces’ where issues are dealt with openly, honestly and with compassion.
We work to give a voice to those who have been denied it. We will platform and take leadership from those who bear the brunt of the climate and inequality crises.
Our strength and work is rooted in our local communities, and we exist to build their power. We know that the needs and strengths of different communities vary and we take this into account in our organising.
We are ambitious and take action. Our goals are big, so our strategy is as well: we use bold tactics, campaign proactively and stay visible and vocal to make sure we’re heard.
We practice strategic non-violence in our work to enable us to build public support and allow as many people as possible to participate.
We embrace creativity, fun and experimentation in our work, and seek to bring joy to what we do. The work of building a winning movement can be hard and tiring – so we celebrate our successes and bring light and life to everything we can.
We welcome everyone to join the campaign for a Green New Deal in the UK and know that everyone has a role to play regardless of expertise or experience. Our movement is open to anyone who agrees with our Principles and Braver Spaces policy and we are all responsible for upholding them.
The Green New Deal is named after the New Deal – a US government programme created in the 1930s as a response to the Great Depression that invested in huge job creation and infrastructure programmes, as well as introducing new laws that regulated finance and built a social safety net.
It’s important to emphasise that the Green New Deal is not a single government policy or law – though it will require the passing of many individual laws. Rather, it’s an agenda for the whole of government – shaping what government does across departments and sectors and how it spends money.
That might sound big, and that’s because it is – the Green New Deal is an ambitious plan at a massive scale. But to tackle climate breakdown and build an economy that works for all of us, tinkering round the edges simply isn’t an option.
There are currently no proposals coming from our government that come close to the ambition and scale of the Green New Deal. However there are people working in parliament to push for a Green New Deal. This comprehensive report from the Green New Deal Group (a group of MPs, economists, journalists and climate advisors) accompanies a motion currently seeking support from MPs.
A number of think-tanks have also done lots of work building comprehensive policy papers on what the Green New Deal would look like, how to make it happen, how to pay for it, and more. Check out some of their work here:
Working with the movement and our partners, we have some ambitious plans for 2021 – including a huge programme of trainings, actions up and down the country, and new research on what a Green New Deal would mean in the UK.
Sign up to show your support for the Green New Deal, and to be kept in the loop with everything that’s happening, and how you can get involved.
350.org is one of many organisations who are part of the movement for a Green New Deal in the UK. We’re working in partnership with Green New Deal UK on our plan to grow the movement and have campaigned alongside youth strikers among others.