2019

2019

Record of Policy Statements (RoPS)

Green New Deal

Conference:

  • Reaffirms its support for the Green Party’s central role in defining and advancing a Green New Deal in the UK;
  • Welcomes the emerging support for the Green New Deal among social movements, organisations and other political parties in the UK, and further efforts from these groups to contribute to the policy programme and its uptake, including on a cross-party basis;
  • Calls for vigilance to ensure that the necessarily radical and comprehensive character of the Green New Deal is maintained, in particular by:
    • emphasising the need for structural transformation in the way the economy is managed;
    • emphasising the urgency of aggregate emissions reductions;
    • targeting investment to the people and regions most vulnerable to transition, most impacted by ongoing environmental breakdown and least to blame for the crisis;
    • embedding the empowerment of communities, workers and citizens;
    • protecting and repairing nature, by design;
    • centring global equity by mobilising finance and the transfer of technology, ending the cycle of extractivism and refusing to shift problems elsewhere;
  • Notes the potential for the Green New Deal to be a core and unifying tenet of any early General Election campaign, and that whether or not the UK has left the EU, pan-European collaboration underpinned by the programme’s resolute internationalism can reflect Europe’s great historic responsibilities;
  • Encourages local and regional parties to work together with manifesto and policy working groups, within the framework of the party’s ambitious spending plans, to articulate a localised vision of the Green New Deal, including specific infrastructure projects (both new and transitional).

October 2019

Climate Emergency

Conference recognises that there is a Climate Emergency and that drastic and immediate action needs to be taken if we are to halt the impending climate catastrophe.

To meet this challenge, we hereby:

  • Encourage local Green Parties to work with such groups to widen awareness of the seriousness of climate change and to promote the adoption of Climate Emergency motions by local governments and all other relevant organisations in their areas.
  • Mandate the Climate Emergency Policy Working Group (CEPWG) to conduct a gap analysis of the PSS since some of our existing policies do not meet the needs of the Climate Emergency. This gap analysis will be reported at plenary in the next Conference.
  • Mandate all relevant Policy Working Groups work with the CEPWG to develop policies to close those gaps by next conference.
  • Instruct GPEx to provide these PWGs with the necessary support including half an officer day a week to work with PWGs to help close our policy gap with the Climate Emergency.
  • Note that these policy changes are urgent and in keeping with the Climate Emergency instructs SOC to automatically prioritise such “Climate Emergency” motions.

June 2019

Representation of Future Generations

Conference:

  • notes GPRC’s adoption of the Climate Change Policy WG’s paper on the Representation of Future Generations and its submission to the Talanoa Dialogue of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • welcomes the UNFCCC’s description of ways of considering the voices of future generations as “promising high-potential solutions” applicable to a variety of issues.
  • urges party members to use these ideas when addressing climate change and the wider planetary crisis.

Brexit, a People’s Vote and Article 50

A. Conference is committed to genuine deliberative democracy and acknowledges the outcome of the referendum in June 2016 but notes that since then and since GPEW’s October 2016 policy statement (1) on it:

  1. a great deal of new information has emerged that was not apparent to referendum voters and not highlighted in the referendum campaigns;
  2. key campaign promises have been broken or proved undeliverable;
  3. the UK government has shown itself incapable of delivering anything other than chaos and harm;
  4. Brexit is being used as an excuse to erode fundamental human, environmental and democratic rights.

B. Conference further notes

  • the unresolvable contradictions that have emerged since 2016 and are contained in all forms of Brexit being pursued by the government and official opposition, the most obvious of which affect the border on the island of Ireland and the border between Gibraltar and Spain;
  • that the people likely to experience the greatest detriment include those most economically and socially disadvantaged, the regions that can least afford Brexit’s impact on jobs and the economy, and women;
  • the risk, whether intended or not, that the government’s inability to agree a form of Brexit acceptable to itself, Parliament and the EU27 may result in the hardest, most damaging ‘no deal’ Brexit.

C. Conference believes that the UK public – whether they backed Leave or Remain two years ago – did not vote for a bad Brexit and that, in the light of what we now know, the UK is therefore better off remaining a member state of the European Union.

D. Conference agrees that:

  • GPEW will support and campaign for a new #PeoplesVote referendum
    a) to be held before the UK irrevocably commits to a particular form of Brexit, whatever the nature of any deal (or no deal) between the UK and the EU,
    b) to include an option for the UK to remain a member state of the EU;
  • until such a referendum provides a clear majority result, GPEW opposes Brexit and will campaign for the UK remaining a member of the EU;
  • while it seems likely that Brexit is to go ahead on 29 March 2019 without a prior referendum, GPEW supports and will argue for an extension to Article 50, so as to provide time for proper democratic process.
  • GPEW hereby restates its belief that our future is best served by staying as close as possible to the European Union while seeking improvements where we have long been critical of EU policy, especially in the area of farm support.
  • GPEW commits itself to tackling the underlying issues of inequality and marginalisation experienced by many who voted Leave, including the undermining and privatisation of public services.
  • GPEW fully supports the Electoral Commission and its findings in relation to the referendum campaigning, as being of fundamental importance to our democracy and the rule of law.
  • the contents of this motion supersede the “Emergency Brexit policy statement” approved by GPRC on 18 October 2016.

(1) https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/record-of-policy-statements.html

Democratic and sustainable Trade Deals

Insert into Record of Policy Statements

This conference calls for all future trade deals to be democratic, socially just, and to safeguard the environment, regardless of whether Brexit happens or not.

By this, we mean that:

  1. Parliamentary democracy must be respected – that parliament should be adequately informed about negotiations, be consulted, and be allowed to discuss and vote on whatever deal is proposed.
  2. Groups representing all sections of civil society should be consulted, in proportion to consultation with industry. In particular, trade negotiations should follow the principles of the Trade Justice Movement.
  3. All trade deals should be in line with the stance of Green Party Group in the European Parliament, where a statement has been made on the deal in question.
  4. Future trade deals should support/facilitate a fair distribution of wealth and support local economies. For example by guaranteeing Protected Geographical Indicators.
  5. The rights of all levels of government to regulate in the public interest and in the interest of the environment must be guaranteed.
  6. All public services should be excluded from such trade deals, even if they are not services exclusively in service of government authority.
  7. The global financial crisis of 2008 was precipitated by financial deregulation. Therefore financial deregulation must be excluded from such trade deals.
  8. Labour rights, human rights, digital rights and the environment are to be protected. Mechanisms should be established, to uphold these rights and enforce sustainability.
  9. The primacy of the precautionary principle must be maintained over the scientific principle in assessing acceptability of industrial processes.
  10. Any lowering of standards regarding food, manufactured chemicals and animal rights (as sentient beings) should not be allowed.
  11. The legal primacy of climate change commitments must be maintained /must prevail over energy liberalisation commitments and investors’ rights. This is absolutely paramount.
  12. Parallel judicial systems which favour transnational investors over domestic investors, such as Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), Investor Court System (ICS) or Multilateral Investment Court , should not be included in future trade deals.
    CETA, TTIP and any other trade deals which fail to comply with the above should be rejected.

EM1 The Truth About Zane

In order to broaden the scope of the Green Party’s interaction with the new Truth About Zane Campaign committee, to be funded and facilitated by the PCS Union, we are asking Conference to support North Surrey Green Party’s participation in this committee with the weight of the National Party.

And for Conference to support the Committee’s initial core objectives:

  • A full, independent, panel-led inquiry into the death of seven year old Zane Gbangbola.
  • Ensure that all historic landfill sites have been identified and mapped against flood plains.
  • Prioritise tried and tested flood protection methods in both residential and landfill areas, such as river dredging and river bank protection.
  • Ensure that our public bodies such as the Environment Agency, local authorities and Department of Environment are privy to learning from problematic projects, such as the River Thames Jubilee flood diversion channel. This knowledge is a matter of public safety and must be made publicly available to inform future projects.
  • Update local authorities, Emergency Services, the public, developers and local flood resilience teams regularly on the position of landfills liable to flood.
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