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Conservative, Labour & Greens to serve on EJC

On Tuesday, the Institute for Public Policy Research launches its Environmental Justice Commission (EJC) and people are coming together across Conservative, Labour and Green parties to serve on it – leading figures from business, academia, civil society, trade unions, youth and climate activism.

Ed Miliband, Labour MP for Doncaster North and a former leader of the Labour party; Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion and Laura Sandys, a former Conservative MP for South Thanet, have written about this and many readers’ comments are well worth reading. Important points made are summarised below

Too often the issue of climate change seems marginal to the public’s concerns, when it is in fact central.

The task is to ally the issue of climate change with the economic and social transformation that our country needs.

This will be done by committing to a Green New Deal (GND), with an unprecedented mobilisation and deployment of resources to tackle the accelerating climate crisis and transform our economy and society for all. Read more on the Green New Deal website.

Its aims are to:

  • mobilise a carbon army of workers to retrofit and insulate homes, cutting bills, reducing emissions and making people’s lives better
  • move to sustainable forms of transport and zero-carbon vehicles as quickly as possible, saving thousands of lives from air pollution
  • end the opposition to onshore wind power and position ourselves as a global centre of excellence for renewable manufacturing
  • protect and restore threatened habitats and
  • secure major transitions in agriculture and diets that are essential if we are to meet our obligations.


People have been asking how we can revive communities that have been left out of prosperity. They ask whether they and their children will be able to get work and also what the quality of that work will be and what skills will be needed. ECJ believes GND has the potential to do this.

The areas of policy mentioned above answer the immediate economic concerns of people for jobs and hope. Green jobs must be secure and decently paid, with a central role for trade unions in a just transition for all workers and communities affected.

The commission will aim to help the UK to take a lead, believing that there is economic and societal advantage in doing so. An increasing number of people, young and old, see that the way we run our economy is damaging our climate, our environment and our society, but that, crucially, it is within our power to change it for the better. And change it we must.







Nick Pearce: there is an easier way to induce our leaders to serve the common good

After two years as Head of the Policy Unit at Number 10, Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research Nick Pearce suggests that  we ask how those who hold positions of leadership in our society can serve everyone else? 

He rightly says that elites must attend to the common good, adding, “they will not do so voluntarily”. 

He continues:

“What if schooling, access to higher education and entry to the professions were guided by the injunction that elites in a democratic society should serve the common good and not just their individual aspirations?”  

And comments:

“Elites drawn from a narrow gene pool – the privately educated and socially segregated that marry and mix with each other – will often possess limited understanding of those they represent or serve in their professional lives. They will have little first-hand knowledge of the conditions in which others live, still less of their concerns. At worst, they will be entirely ignorant, prejudiced or disrespectful of them.” 

He considers remedial action:
  • Organise a gap year to be spent in voluntary service
  • Learn from the experience of Teach First, which places graduates from leading universities into schools in disadvantaged communities.
  • Develop the government’s National Citizen Service scheme into a rite of passage for all young people.
  • Hold primaries for the selection of political candidate.
  • Devolve power.
  • Develop stronger community organising. 
PCU suggests a quicker, cheaper and simpler solution:
Require all Lords, MPs, civil servants, political advisers and families to use only the state health, transport, and education services they have designed. 
We believe the improvements made almost overnight would benefit all.