Let`s have an environmentally friendly Conference in Brighton
By Keith Melton
Greenest Conference (?)
The Lib Dem autumn 2018 Brighton conference is shaping up to be VERY Green. We have more environmental stuff going on than you can shake a stick at. Will it qualify as the greenest ever? We are not sure, but it is worth taking a look at what is happening. the chart below tells you most of the key fringe meetings that catch the eye.
And at the bottom of the page you will see a brief mention of Green Lib Dem training sessions too. This is something we have not aspired to, before, on this scale - there will be two 2-hour training sessions on Green Campaigning, looking forward to the 2019 local elections, one in the morning from 10am to noon, with a repeat in the afternoon from 3pm to 5pm. At the time of writing there are still places available on both sessions, but please respond quickly, they are disappearing fast! If you want to register you need to go here and fill the form in, or contact Keith Melton directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for information
Resolutions and amendments
There has been a significant Green input to the resolutions and amendments at Conference too, not all started by Green Lib Dems of course, but GLD members may have had a hand in some of the drafting. The key point here is that over the years there is now an automatic assumption that the majority of Lib Dems have environmental awareness and care at their heart anyway, without needing to be a member of a green group! (That is not to say GLD would not appreciate more Lib Dems joining the group! There is still much progress to be made in the face of many existential environmental threats!)
So, here are the specifically greener debates, or with a strong green element (for more details, see your agendas) ...
9.40am Saturday - F4 - Policy motion: Improving Animal Welfare
1pm Saturday (mentioned above) - Consultative session: "Climate change and the Low Carbon Economy"
4.35pm Monday - F29 - Policy motion: Plastic Pollution and UN sustainable Development Goals
11.30am Tuesday - F35 - Policy motion: Demand better: Liberal Priorities for a Better Britain
Green Liberal Democrats have also submitted amendments and an Emergency resolution which we hope will be included in the Agenda. Watch out for details on the daily briefing sheets, but the emergency resolution is about Stopping Permitted Devpt of onshore fossil fuels/fracking and to encourage renewables/FITS towards achieving our Paris Agreement commitments
Environmentally Friendly and recycling conference?
Where we do have some concern is that there may have been some slippage from our environmentally friendly conference approaches some years ago, which has the potential to provide some embarrassment for our Party`s Green credentials. It was disappointing at last year`s autumn conference and this year`s Spring conference that there was very little effort at providing recycling bins alongside the waste bins in conference venues and that very little seemed to have been done to reduce the use of throw-away cups and single use plastics by the chosen caterers.
We KNOW what is possible, here, because with clear instructions to the venue for the Green Lib Dem spring conference in May in Nottingham, there was hardly a single use plastic item in sight (in fact I would challenge anyone to produce an example thereof!! Also I, personally, was disappointed that there was less evidence of recycling capacity in Bournemouth in 2017 than at the last LD conference I had attended in 1997!! Keith Melton.) We also arranged for the caterers in Nottingham to provide meat free lunch. It was not entirely vegetarian or vegan because we had some fish and dairy products at lunch, but there was no meat and we had no complaints from omnivores about the quality of the food on offer, it was excellent!
So, it is down to us all individually to see what WE can do to make this conference as environmentally friendly as possible. We may have to sort out our own recycling by taking stuff back home to recycle where possible (relatively easy with paper, of course.) Also we may have to buy a recyclable cup and persuade the caterers to put a serving of coffee or tea into OUR cups - not sure if that will work? Such cups are generally available on the Party`s resources stand. Our Vice chair Organisation, Peter Bruce, wrote to the Conference Organisers earlier this year making all these, and more, suggestions, but was told that "contracts had already been let" for Brighton, so it was too late to influence outcomes and outputs.
Discounted membership of ALDC, through Green Lib Dems...
With our Green accreditation ideals in place and Green Campaigning training in conjunction with ALDC for the elections in 2019, we have also arranged for a promotional effort to boost both GLD and ALDC membership in Brighton (even if you are not coming to Brighton you can take advantage of this offer!) Any members of the Green Liberal Democrats who want to join ALDC for the first time can do so, JUST DURING SEPTEMBER for a discount of 50% for the first six months membership - so, if you are not yet a member of either and you join Green Lib Dems now you can end up with membership of both for less than the price of membership of just ALDC. Now - there`s a deal you shouldn`t refuse! For more information go here.