The Big Issue’s Future Generations campaign has received a boost after the Green Party including a Future Generations Act in their newly unveiled manifesto.
The first major party to break cover and reveal their election plans in detail, the Greens pledged to “Introduce a Future Generations Act for England, modelled on the current Act for Wales, building the needs of future generations into every government decision”.
They also vowed to “appoint a Minister for Future Generations to represent young people at the heart of government”.
Today Greens are launching our manifesto pledging net zero carbon by 2030
The #ClimateEmergency demands nothing less
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) November 19, 2019
It’s just one of the future-focused announcements made in the document, which is tellingly titled “If Not Now, When?”.
The Greens also laid out plans for a £100bn a year Green New Deal in a bid to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.
This will go alongside the introduction of an £89-per-week Universal Basic Income – an idea that has also been mooted by the Labour Party – and a pledge to create a total of 100,000 new social rent homes. Successive governments have vastly undelivered on this type of home in recent decades, leading to the UK’s current housing crisis.
The Big Issue magazine is a social enterprise, a business that reinvests its profits in helping others who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or whose lives are blighted by poverty.
Crucially, the Greens will look to fill this deficit by bring empty homes back into use – as The Big Issue has long been campaigning for with our Fill ’Em Up campaign. They also promised to build homes to the Passivhaus – or equivalent standard – much like the Stirling Prize-winning Goldsmith Street in Norwich, in a bid to slash energy usage by 90 per cent.
But it was the Future Generations inclusion that most caught our eye.
The Green Party’s former leader and Brighton Pavilion candidate Caroline Lucas will be co-sponsoring the Big Issue founder Lord John Bird’s Future Generations Bill through the House of Commons.
Lucas told The Big Issue that the proposed legislation will be reintroduced when Parliament returns after the election alongside nine others that her party feels are critical in addressing the challenges society will face going forward.
She said: “Ten bills in two years is the Green Party’s ambition, as that is what it will take to address the climate crisis and start the transformation of our society.
“The Future Generations Bill is one of those ten because that is how we will turn our back on the short-termism of politics and ensure we build a society which balances the needs of the present with those of future generations.”
What if future planning was hard-baked into policy at an early stage? To help the NHS before it buckles. To better prevent floods. And to truly end homelessness. @PauldMcNamee's right, we need all #GE2019 candidates to act #todayfortomorrow and take our Future Generations Pledge https://t.co/9EMl5anNBN
— John Bird (@johnbirdswords) November 19, 2019
The man behind the Future Generations Bill, Lord Bird added: “It’s brilliant to see the Green Party promise to enact a Future Generations Bill that ensures public bodies balance the needs of the present with the needs of the future.
“The list of Green candidates taking The Big Issue’s Future Generations Pledge grows by the day. And with Caroline Lucas offering to co-sponsor our Future Generations Bill in the Commons, it’s clear that the Green Party is already living up to their commitment to put people’s well-being and the health of our environment at the heart of democratic decision-making.
“The Greens have set a high standard, and we’re looking to the other parties to meet it.”
Don’t forget that we need your help to ensure that the future generations are given a voice in this election. You can that by ensuring that the candidates in your area take The Big Issue’s Future Generations Pledge. For more information, head here.