Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gordon Brown's plans: definitely more brown than green!

Saw my MP Kerry McCarthy put this question to Gordon Brown at Prime Minister's Question Time today and its been reported on the local newspaper's website,

"Does he agree with me and the people of Bristol that green jobs and sustainable development are the way out of this economic downturn?"

The Prime Minister replied: "I look forward to visiting Bristol very soon. On the environment, she is absolutely right. I believe, coming out of this downturn, some of the triggers for further growth can be investment in the environment. We are going to invest in green jobs and environmental technologies."

I'd very much welcome a comprehensive and coherent plan to create a green economy. Growing numbers of economists eg the authors of the Green New Deal, and at the UN, are saying that investing heavily in efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport, reduction, reuse and recycling of waste, building stronger local economies and communities with local production for local needs, is by far the best way to direct our efforts. After all we currently have intimately entangled, mutually reinforcing economic and environmental crises.

However, there is no such plan available from Gordon Brown's Labour Govt.. Where is what should be top priority, a plan to insulate all homes free of charge for instance (its something that self-evidently pays for itself in saved energy and thus lowered bills)!?!?

The lack of a real green plan is surely no surprise to anyone given that Mr Brown spent over a decade as Chancellor before his period as PM and we're certainly no greener now than when he came to power!! By the Government's own figures carbon dioxide emissions are higher now than ten yrs ago for instance. Current Brown plans in favour of building more coal fired power stations, the expansion of airports, the building of hundreds of miles of new roads, more nuclear power stations cannot considered green (more here).

Looks like PM Gordon Brown's plans are pefectly consistent with his past actions as Chancellor doesn't it - definitely more Brown than green!