Friday's government announcement of 400,000 "green jobs" misses the point of the Green New Deal.
The Green party's Professor John Whitelegg has commented: "The Brown New Deal is not a Green New Deal. It relies on nuclear power, which is not remotely green and which sustains the fewest jobs per megawatt of any form of electricity generation. Replace nuclear with renewable energy and you will get the same amount of energy with far more jobs, and ultimately at a lower cost. And carbon capture is neither zero-carbon nor jobs-rich. The government recently trailed a claim of only 50,000 jobs in so-called 'clean coal' by 2030. But figures soon to be released by the Green Party will show how wind energy could create four times as many jobs ten years sooner. We know how to achieve a zero-carbon economy through jobs-rich green energy policies, so why on earth should we tinker with jobs-poor unproven technology that keeps us dependent on fossil fuels?"
As The Independent have reported the Chancellor's opposition to a real Green New Deal has led to Britain falling far behind other countries in launching measures that are vital to help Britain grow.
Mr Darling is frustrating a drive by Ed Miliband and 'Dark Knight' Peter Mandelson, the new Energy and Business secretaries, to launch a "low-carbon industrial revolution" to combat climate change and boost business – and threatens to undermine an increasingly close partnership between Mr Brown and President Barack Obama to push the greening of the global economy at next month's G20 summit in London.
A survey by the HSBC bank puts Britain near the bottom of the international league, both in the amount of money it has devoted to green measures in its economic rescue package, and in the proportion of the stimulus devoted to them – even though it has spent a far higher proportion of its GDP on bailing out banks than any other country.
See Independent article yesterday saying more on this here. The FT also reports the criticisms last week - see here - they argue economic stimulus plans being rolled out across the world could commit countries to rapid growth in greenhouse gas emissions, cancelling out some of the green initiatives included within them. The packages of tax cuts, credits and extra spending have been trumpeted for their environmental credentials by the governments proposing them, but a closer look shows that green spending account for only a small part of the bigger initiatives.