MCFly’s spies are everywhere. One of them told us that the Green Party was taking a new look at its climate policy. We asked the Manchester Green Party’s Secretary, David Mottram to tell us more…
The Green Party, meeting at its Spring Conference in Liverpool (23rd-27th February), has voted to review its climate change policy. The previous major revision was in 1990 and the last amendment in 2008. In the words of the current policy, ‘The Kyoto Protocol says nothing about the future beyond 2012…’
At each twice-yearly conference the Greens update a section of the party’s core policy statement, Policies for a Sustainable Society, and it’s obviously time – overdue – to re-write the climate change policy.
Popular understanding of the profound impact of climate change is growing but it is essential that campaigners keep working to make the direct and personal connections of climate change to the lives of individuals & families in the city.
Take people of Pakistani origin in Manchester, for instance. The Manchester Green Party highlighted the 2010 floods in Pakistan in a leaflet we distributed last year; ‘The impact of the disaster will be felt for years to come…caused by the worst monsoon rains for 80 years’, we said. Reading a marvellous book by Anatol Lieven published last year* he says that the ‘dependence on the Indus is the greatest source of long-term danger to Pakistan…(while) the possible long-term combination of climate change, acute water shortages, poor water infrastructure and steep population growth has the potential to wreck Pakistan as an organised state and society’. It isn’t the Pakistani Taliban, the army, or corrupt politicians who will bring Pakistan down: it’s the dependence on a single river system at the mercy of climate change.
The Green Party must have up-to-date analysis and policy responses to meet climate change, linking the local and the global, and putting climate change at the centre of the stage when we think about politics and human rights. Knowledge and understanding of climate change has been transformed since 1990. Definitely time for the Green Party to update the whole policy, and then to campaign on it.
The new policy statement will be brought to the next conference to be held in Bristol from 7th-10th September 2012.
Secretary, Manchester Green Party
* Anatol Lieven, Pakistan: A Hard Country, Penguin, 2011 (paperback edition 2012)