Caroline Lucas is launching a collection of essays designed to inspire new thinking on how to turn the economy around at the Green party's autumn conference in Bristol today.
The New Home Front II: Policies for Ecological, Social and Economic Renewal, outlines a range of policy proposals designed to set us on a path to a clean, green future.
Last year, Caroline launched the ‘New Home Front’ initiative at the Imperial War Museum in London to explore what lessons we could take from history that could be applied to challenges like climate change and food insecurity.
There were many – for example, during the Second World War, government engaged the brightest and the best minds, and the most practical of people in meeting the pressing challenges that faced the nation.
With this in mind, the Brighton Pavilion MP asked a range of leading thinkers and practitioners for their suggestions of what could be done to meet today’s challenges.
Groups that have contributed to the new report include the WI, business historian, Nick Robins, the Green New Deal Group, nef (the new economics foundation) Co-operatives UK, The Soil Association, the campaign to Bring Back British Rail, oil-campaign group PLATFORM and Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org.
Andrew Simms, nef fellow, Molly Conisbee, Soil Association and Ruth Potts, bread, print and roses, will speak at the launch event.
Caroline will also announce the winner of the New Home Front poster competition, which was opened up last year calling for innovative designs to illustrate a 'call to arms' on the economic and environmental crisis.
The winning image, by graphic designer Phil Wellington, appears on the front cover of the report.
Caroline Lucas MP said:
“The Prime Minister is either asleep at the wheel of Britain’s future, or grossly negligent.
“As Phil Wellington’s winning poster design shows, the real enemy for the future prosperity of Britain is a changing climate.
“Blindly investing in new roads and riding roughshod over planning law takes us nowhere – instead, we need policies that revive the economy by transforming our infrastructure to meet the needs of a low carbon future.
“As the New Home Front report shows, the solutions are not in short supply, all that is missing is the political vision and courage required to implement them.”
Proposals in the report include:
- Financial mechanisms that prioritise long-terms needs to usher in a new ‘green golden age’;
- Turning RBS into a Royal Bank of Sustainability to provide the investment we need for a low-carbon future;
- A National Business Rescue Service to aid the small businesses valiantly keeping the UK economy afloat, and allow workers to take democratic control of the enterprises that they are part of, key to the success of the world’s largest co-operative movement in Mondragon, Spain;
- A new Post Bank using the infrastructure of the Post Office Network to meet the needs of small businesses and local communities;
- A National Plan for Renewables that uses a mixture of national and local funding to get the UK on a par with Germany where around 25 percent of energy now comes from renewables compared to 4 per cent in the UK;
- A principle of ‘Yes in My Back Yard!’ for new urban food growing and a comprehensive plan to reduce food waste