Green Party conference 2018: ambitious, fearless and principled
14 March 2018
Two of our members, Ian and Pam, braved the ice and snow to attend the Green Party Spring Conference in Bournemouth on 3 and 4 March. It didn't quite look like the advert!
But they brought back a report of a conference that was exciting, energising, and reaffirmed all of our commitment to working for a Green future.
We got some great headlines and broadcast time, we launched our new political strategy, and approved a new energy policy.
Our co-leaders, Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas gave a great speech - read it here. They ended, 'We are strong from being united in our values, trustworthy in our principles. Stronger still from speaking truth to power.' Now, more than ever, our values, principles and strength are needed. Let's get to work!
Our new political strategy
- to become the third largest party in England, and fourth in Wales, starting with outdoing UKIP in this May's local elections
- to work towards our alternative economy and society
- to support campaigns aimed at achieving the above, for example against HS2 and fracking
- to have the government call a referendum on the terms of departure from the EU, once negotiated, with a 'remain' option on the ballot paper
- to have new Environmental Protection and Clean Air Acts in force by 2020, in order to have the same level of protection as we currently have, or better
- to be a better organised party with a larger and more stable membership.
Our new energy policy
- our aim is for a decarbonised energy system based on efficient use of electricity and heat from renewable sources within the UK
- to achieve the Paris targets and fairness within and between nations, the UK needs to decrease energy use substantially, through improved efficiences, changes in materials and reduction in consumption
- these changes will bring significant health benefits and improved employment prospects
- offshore wind will be the main source of electricity
- continuity of supply will be ensured by using domestic sources and a variety of storage technologies, links to other countries' grids, and minimal use of natural gas
- surplus energy will be transformed into heat and gas and stored or exported
- carbon capture and storage technology will be used to achieve decarbonisation
- nuclear power, coal, and waste incineration will be phased out
- heating of buildings will be transformed by phasing out natural gas in favour of solar thermal, heat pumps, combined heat and power, stored heat, hydrogen and electricity
- industrial processes will be made much more energy efficient
- cars and vans, and later on HGVs, will use ultra-low emission engines
- electrification of rail, coach and bus services will continue
- air travel will be radically discouraged
- walking, cycling and public transport will be encouraged in place of car travel
- fuel poverty will be tackled as part of our broader economic policies
- a carbon tax will be set at a high enough level to encourage the shift from fossil fuels to renewables
- tarrifs and import bans will be used to discourage/avoid imports with high embodied energy or emissions.