A Green Vision for Cornwall

How we can shape the future together

 

Cornwall is a place like no other, and our future is one we shape together. It is a future that will be defined by Cornish character: long-term stewardship, resilience, and non-conformist creativity.

For too long the people who take care of this land and sea we call home, and who cultivate it carefully for food – they have been taken for granted. Farming and fishing are at the very heart of our Cornish culture, but they have been degraded by decades of free-market policy which tears at the symbiotic relationship between local Cornish communities and the land and sea that sustains us. Our farmers and fishers instinctively understand and respect the ecological rhythms of land and sea, but those who have not been forced out of business have been forced into unsustainable practices by a perverse system that rewards environmental degradation. Long-term stewardship of our land and oceans must be returned to Cornish communities, along with the support necessary to transition to a sustainable future.

We are the stewards of this land, these seas; we need the power to steward them well.

Cornwall’s rugged landscape is reflected in our resilient character. But the peninsula that powered the Industrial Revolution now finds itself at the mercy of a post-industrial age. While we have benefited from EU investment, the Cornish economy remains fragile, with profits continually extracted and then enjoyed elsewhere. We may be resilient in character, but we are not yet resilient in structure.

A sustainable future means a much more local future. It means local food for local markets; local energy with local infrastructure; local clothing manufacture, local construction. We carry with us our strong local culture, local language, local heritage. We have what it takes to be resilient, but we need the infrastructure and systems that keep value local. This rugged land is our home; it can only thrive with resilient communities that protect it for the future.

We are a resilient people; we need the power to build a resilient economy.

Whether it’s the world-changing invention of the steam engine, or the Modernist art of St Ives, Cornwall does not settle for the status quo. This is a non-conformist culture, that digs deep into the past to find resources that transform the future.

We have thriving independent businesses, but they are threatened by the privileges shown to large corporations. Independent house-builders are outmanoeuvred by large developers. Independent high-street shops are pushed under by retail parks. Cornwall’s independent culture refuses to conform, as our strong independent sector shows, but it is really tough. Cornwall has the independent spirit to create an entirely new future, but we need the power to shape our own destiny.

We are the creative nonconformists; we will find the way to an alternative future.

The climate emergency is real and demands urgent action. This Green Vision for Cornwall provides a set of priorities that can – and should – shape policy and decision-making over the coming years.