Mainstream policy prescriptions responding the concerns of environmentalism often focus on the use of resources – from efficient use of household’s utilities and recycling to cutting emissions to limit the impact of global warming. Such initiatives however rely upon a narrow interpretation of environmentalism in relation to policy. Just as with other “isms”, such as feminism, racism, capitalism or socialism, a focus on the interaction between individuals, society and the environment requires a much broader reconceptualisation of key policy concerns. Conceptual frameworks around social justice, citizenship and needs of policies around social protection and public health – all need to be rethought in relation to contemporary environmental challenges.
This project seeks to explore how we can start this rethinking in relation to Labour’s articulation of One Nation. Here, a focus on the local has become paramount: sharing power and responsibility; involving communities in rebuilding local economies and democratic participation. These are at the core of the future direction of thinking on the left. From the position of environmentalism this association with the local is not alien; in fact it is the core of many green theories. The challenge of this project is to explore a range of community-based initiatives which fit into this wider environmental ideology and draw out lessons for both the Fabians and One Nation Labour. We hope you will get involved and share your ideas.
Chair: Lee Gregory
Vice-chair: Thomas Maisey