Investing in a Green future – The Green New Deal can provide over a million new sustainable jobs
As we come through what we all hope will be the tail end of the coronavirus crisis, we need to turn our attention to the other (and actually even more serious) crisis which faces us – that of the climate emergency.
The present government target of making the UK carbon neutral by 2050 is too little too late. Even if every country in the world met that target (which a lot won’t), it would still only give us a 50-50 chance of avoiding the worst conequences of climate change.
We need to be much more ambitious, and aim to reach zero-carbon by 2030. This target is certainly achieveable, and far from causing hardship it would improve our lives, provide over a million jobs to replace those lost in the pandemic, and put the UK at the forefront of the technologies to get us through the 21st century.
The Green New Deal is a programme to get us from where we are now to where we need to be by the end of the present decade. It involves the rapid phasing out of fossil fuels, and meeting our energy requirements from non-polluting renewable sources like wind, sun and tides.It means taking sensible measures to reduce our energy needs, like properly insulating our homes and other buildings, and cutting out unnecessary journeys.
It means taking better care of our resources, and moving from a wasteful throwaway society to one based on conservation and recycling. It means valuing the natural world and its bio-diversity, not just because it’s pretty or fascinating, but because it is what makes life on earth possible for us all.
It means putting solar panels on every available roof, and supplying the occupants with free electricity.
It means improving public transport, and making it cheaper or free.
It also means embracing a new set of values, based on caring for each other, rather than serving the dictates of the market and the profit motive.
It means providing quality care for all those who need it, and properly valuing the care givers. It means a major programme of provision of new social housing, to end the scandal of homelessness and provide a secure future for our young people.
It means building a new fairer and more equal society in which everyone matters.
It is a truly transformational programme which does more than provide new jobs. We can only meet the challenges of emerging from COVID-19 and tackling climate change on a basis of social justice for all.