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The Green New Deal

Wind energy

The Green New Deal will rekindle a vital sense of purpose, restoring public trust and refocusing the use of capital on public priorities and sustainability. In this way it can also help deliver a wide range of social benefits that can greatly improve quality of life in the future. The Green New Deal includes policies and novel funding mechanisms that will reduce emissions contributing to climate change and allow us to cope better with the coming energy shortages caused by peak oil. It consists of two main strands. Firstly, it entails a structural transformation of the regulation of national and international financial systems, and major changes to taxation systems. And, second, a sustained programme to invest in and deploy energy conservation and renewable energies, coupled with effective demand management. This huge transformational programme must be designed to substantially reduce the use of fossil fuels while in the process tackling the unemployment and decline in demand caused by the credit crunch.

The Green New Deal Group’s first report published in July 2008 was intended as a first word, not a last. There is huge potential, and growing global support for approaches based on a Green New Deal. Action at the international level will be needed to build the orderly, well-regulated and supportive policy and financial environment that is required to restore economic stability and nurture environmental sustainability. Critically, this must include financial mechanisms to help the majority world adapt to climate change built on the recognition that credit-fuelled consumption means that the world’s richest economies have built up massive ecological deficits.

Only by directly addressing the interlinked causes of the crises can we can begin to stabilise the current triple-crunch crisis. Do this and we can lay the foundations for the emergence of a set of resilient low-carbon high well-being economies, rich in jobs and based on independent sources of energy supply.