Labour Party members voted to officially back a Green New Deal motion for their transport plans to support rail electrification, high-speed rail, HS2, sustainable rail freight on the West Coast Mainline and removal of HGVs from the roads.
At their Autumn 2019 conference, Labour officially backed a motion by the campaign group Labour for a Green New Deal, to achieve net zero by 2030, nationalise the big six energy firms and guarantee green jobs.
Labour supports the view that de-carbonisation could produce thousands of well paid, skilled jobs in the renewables sector and the supply chain.
To allay union fears that these ambitious targets will threaten jobs in the traditional energy industries and the aviation sector, Greenpeace said there would be a “just transition” to protects workers.
Labour will work with scientists and trade unions to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
The Green New Deal also proposes to repeal all anti-union laws, ban fracking – which is already Labour policy – and de-carbonisation by progressive taxation of the wealthiest in society.
It will take all public transport into public ownership to make it free, or affordable.
Here are rail-related exerpts from Labour’s list of 20 motions, submitted to their 2019 annual conference:
Page 18 of 404: Industrial Strategy
An industrial strategy for the many:
“Transport is the largest polluter in terms of greenhouse gases, producing 27 percent of total emissions. Rail is already among the cleanest modes of transport but could be improved by fully electrifying the network and moving more freight onto the railways as part of an integrated transport system.
Public infrastructure should be as green as possible, whether new housing, schools or other public buildings and government should lead from the front in enforcing strong environmental standards.
Conference calls for:
- a new industrial strategy focused on a low carbon infrastructure
- commitment to an integrated, multi-model transport system with electrified rail at its heart
- a programme of improvement and new standards for housing and public buildings to reduce carbon emissions.”
Page 60 of 404: Green New Deal – Environment
• A sustainable rail and aviation industry
Page 156 of 404: Green New Deal – Environment
“Across the UK, Labour will support:
• rail electrification, connecting cities and towns and at the same time continue to support HS2 because of the additional capacity that it will create for rail freight on the West Coast Mainline, removing polluting HGVs and other vehicles from roads
• the transition to sustainably powered rail freight
• creation of rail freight interchanges
• investment in electric buses that can reconnect local communities
• integrated public transport timetabling
• local schemes that make walking and active travel safe, attractive, environmentally sustainable options, benchmarked against European practice.”
Page 229 of 404:
“Remote Mainland Areas Protection Bill:
Conference also notes the unreliability of bus services and lack of adequate rail services caused by cuts in local government subsidy and monopolization by private providers. Residents still largely rely on cars but, due also to the climate emergency, we need far reaching public transport alternatives.”