Climate change is the most pressing issue humanity faces today, and yet mainstream politics continues to ignore it like an addict in denial. At a time when Theresa May has abolished the Energy and Climate change department and appointed Andrea Leadsom Environment Secretary, Labour must provide an alternative. Despite Corbyn outlining a number of different policies, and Owen Smith repeating them to legitimise his socialist facade, neither of them have put forward a fully fledged plan to make Britain carbon neutral.
For too long climate change policy has consisted of generic phrases such as “I will reduce carbon emissions” or “this party will invest in renewable energy,” phrases that have only slightly more meaning than “radical centrism,” which Blairites are advocating on twitter. When we are up to our metaphorical (and probably literal) necks in water, those phrases are not going to make a single shred of difference to the plight of humanity. Owen Smith, and Jeremy Corbyn to an extent, are culprits of this attitude, and it has to stop. In Owen Smith’s recent policy plan, he said he would invest in “efficient energy,” which doesn’t even refer to renewable energy and could mean literally anything (I personally like to imagine hamster wheels, mimicking the manner in which his rhetoric is going nowhere). In the same speech he reprimanded Theresa May for her empty words on social justice saying “Rhetoric is cheap,” I’m assuming he knows it’s cheap as they both shop at the same 99p Rhetoric Store, although he now shops solely in the Corbynite aisle. Satirical jokes based in truth aside, I welcome any genuine comprehensive climate change policies Smith would like to put forward, and I implore him to do so. This issue is too important us to be overly partisan.
Jeremy Corbyn has slightly disappointed me in regards to policies on climate change, don’t get me wrong, he’s addressed the issue far more than Owen Smith, or any previous Labour Leader for that matter. He challenged David Cameron on his failure to decrease carbon emissions and his shadow cabinet coordinated 55 labour councils to pledge to move to 100% renewable energy by 2050. It should be recognised that this is a huge step in the right direction for the Labour Party, but it’s not enough. Jeremy Corbyn and his cabinet need to outline a comprehensive plan to reduce Britain’s Carbon footprint, from renewable energy to eco-friendly farming.
It should be noted that any Brexit negotiations should include discussions on climate change policy. Climate change is an issue that transcends the childish notion of borders, countries must work together if we are to prevent climate change. Both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party must negotiate a Brexit that allows continued cooperation with European countries to combat climate change. No country should be so arrogant as to think they can exist without cooperation with other nation states, as we will all pay the price for that.
I implore Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith to put forward a plan to tackle climate change – if in doubt the Green Party’s entire manifesto will do. Climate change must be at the forefront of political discourse both here in Britain and in the rest of the world.