Friday, 31 October 2008

October 2008 - Green New Deal and a (Potential) Political Super-Fight to Save the World.

You think on first thoughts the financial crisis and recession should harm the chances of (cash backed) government action on climate change, however, the change dynamic that the financial crisis has brought is spinning attractive narratives which speak of the opportunities that these times offer. Perhaps the most compelling of these stories is the idea of a Green New Deal.
The reference to Roosevelt’s New Deal, the prescription that cured America’s Great Depression, is deliberate and proponents of the concept argue for a blue print for recovery much like the Old New Deal promoting industrial reform and job creation... but of course privileging green investment, green jobs, building green infrastructure . The potency of this idea is such that the United Nations are backing it calling for a "Global Green New Deal" what they call a “Environmentally-Focused Investment Historic Opportunity for 21st Century Prosperity and Job Generation”

If this idea becomes a real prospect, will we have ourselves a Green-Roosevelt and who might that be? Well it is true the Green New Deal presents Gordon Brown with an opportunity to build on his World Saving! image following his bail out plan and Paul Krugman’s nobel prize winning endorsement.
A world class Green New Deal put together in the UK and taken on round the world could secure Gordon a slice of political legacy that he might be interested in.

While we wait and hope for Brown to make a substantial move, a longer established Superhero has already been playing at the role. Governor Schwarzenegger’s has been saying this month that in these times he wants to go “faster not slower” on the measures needed to grow the green economy in California - and makes like he’s got the Roosevelt Job nailed on seeing as he has already been asked to speak at the UN once.

Arnie argues the benefits of front running on climate change he claims half of US venture capital is coming into California because of the green economy there. The incentives are there for Brown too if his proposals for a Green New Deal are competitive, the present reliance in the UK on financial services is one such incentive to find a way to a growing (greener) economy. In 2007 financial services accounted for 10.1 per cent of UK GDP and Financial services made up one in 30 jobs in the UK.

Old Roosevelt for his New Deal had a ‘Brains Trust’ to help and Gordon Brown should be buoyed by the New Economics Foundations helpful proposals made by a substantial ‘Brains Trust’ of concerned and competent people who give Brown and the government a heads up and if taken on a chance to overtake Arnie as the New New Deal Superhero saving the world.

“the Green New Deal Group challenges government to go away, do its homework, and come back in the Autumn with a comprehensive legislative programme equivalent to that implemented by Roosevelt 75 years ago – a ‘Green New Deal’.”


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