Labour’s “One Planet Living”

In: Uncategorized

30 Sep 2006

Few commentators seem to have noticed just how far the Labour Party went last week in its advocacy of environmental austerity (see also 25 September dispatch). For example, David Miliband, the environment minister, used his platform speech to promote what he called “one planet living”: “I propose we adopt a new goal as a country: to aim to live as a nation within the limits that the environment can tolerate, One Planet Living.” The phrase evidently comes from the oft-repeated assumption that we are currently using the resources of three planets:

“At the moment, we are living, Britons in the 21st century, as if there were three planets to support us when in fact we have only got one. We are consuming the natural resources of three planets; burning the fossil fuel of three planets; pumping out enough carbon dioxide for three planets; yet we only have one planet to live on.”

Alongside Miliband on the platform was Ken Livingstone, London’s mayor, who favoured water metering, road price charging and “green taxes” on air travel, according to an article in the Guardian. He repeated his call for people not to flush the toilet every time they use it: “You really don’t need to flush the toilet when you have just had a pee.”

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