Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Now is the time to invest, invest, invest in going green!!

The poorest people in the world are suffering most from climate change and will be the worst affected by climate change to come. The map starkly illustrates this. They need richer countries, who have produced the climate problem in the process of becoming rich, to act seriously and urgently. Higher temperatures mean many of the world's poorest areas face: less water availability; lower crop yields; degraded resources such as woods/forests, biodiversity available; higher disease incidence; weather extremes from prolonged drought to sudden extreme flooding, extreme temperatures to violent storms (see this report on scientific evidence from the IPCC for instance).

That moves have been made to dilute and undermine valuable work on tackling climate change done by the EU is thus very worrying and shortsighted (details here). Governments across Europe, not least our own, are using the current financial crisis to excuse tough action on climate - they are willing to spend billions bailing out banks but action to benefit the world's poorest is not a priority. The potential impacts of the climate crisis are enormous for all of us and you'd think that the effects of not planning, regulating, and investing for both the short, the medium and long term are clearly illustrated by the financial crisis! Action to genuinely tackle climate is just not an option - clearly our society and within it our economy (and within that our financial system) exist within and are dependent on our environment.

Investment needed to build secure, stable, climate-friendly green economies around the globe is just the kind of investment that would help tackle recession too. Hundreds of thousands of jobs could result in Europe alone from the right kind of policies on just energy efficiency and wind power, also excellent for cutting carbon and tackling climate change. This could be repeated around the globe, building green infrastructure in countries both rich and poor. Scope for growth from green investments is very high!

Details on the Green New Deal.
Some background on Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930s.

Update: interesting to see that Jonathon Porritt, Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission has made basically the same point as this post on his blog.

This post is part of Blog Action Day 08 - Poverty

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