This post is by Colin Hines, convenor of the UK Green New Deal Group. The environment movement needs to learn two lessons from the election result. First, that despite all the coverage of climate events and growing public clamour for something drastic to be done about it, 12 December was definitely not a ‘climate election’. Rather, it was a return to two party politics fought around the issues of Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn’s competence. Second, it is now clear that no ambitious political demands, like those called for at the climate talks in Madrid, will have any chance of success unless they are seen to be positive for the interests of the majority in rich countries. For the COP26 meeting, to be held in Glasgow next November, the message is clear. Climate talks are unlikely to succeed if the discussions concentrate solely on what could be perceived as a rather preachy global justice narrative that the rich world must atone for its historical carbon sins by drastically curbing present lifestyles. Of course, this is a valid analysis, but it is unlikely to result in a shift in the attitude of politicians in more affluent countries, unless measures taken to tackle climate change are clearly seen to benefit the majority of the population in these countries.
Green Alliance 18th Dec 2019 read more »