Less than two weeks ago, Al Gore dispensed an audacious goal for the U.S. to use 100% renewable energy for all of our electricity needs within the next 10 years. A group out of the UK seems to have coordinated their message with Gore's speech, as if they were prom dates. The Green New Deal Group has recently released a response to what they are terming a ‘triple crunch' of climate/energy, food, and financial credit crises. They fear that these crises may result in a tumultuous economy that rivals the Great Depression. Their comprehensive plan, which hopes to compare to President Roosevelt's original New Deal, insists on:
- Massive investment in renewable energy and wider environmental transformation in the UK, leading to,
- The creation of thousands of new green collar jobs
- Reining in reckless aspects of the finance sector - but making low-cost capital available to fund the UK's green economic shift
- Building a new alliance between environmentalists, industry, agriculture, and unions to put the interests of the real economy ahead of those of footloose finance
Seventy-five years ago, Roosevelt's innovative policies led to the legislative, hall-of-fame worthy, ‘100 days of lawmaking' where every request was answered by congress. Hoping for similar successes, The Green New Deal Group looks to catalyze the renewable industry, initiate green collar-jobs, reduce emissions and our thirst for oil, and re-regulate finance that cuts interest rates, enabling those borrowers to initiate a new energy/transport infrastructure. Proposal's within the report include, but are not limited to:
- Executing a bold new vision for a low-carbon energy system that will include making ‘every building a power station'.
- Creating and training a ‘carbon army' of workers to provide the human resources for a vast environmental reconstruction program.
- Establishing an Oil Legacy Fund, paid for by a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies as part of a wide-ranging package of financial innovations and incentives to assemble the tens of billions of pounds that need to be spent.
- Ensuring more realistic fossil fuel prices that include the cost to the environment, and that are high enough to tackle climate change by creating economic incentives to drive efficiency and bring alternative fuels to market.
- Minimizing corporate tax evasion by clamping down on tax havens and corporate financial reporting.
- Re-regulating the domestic financial system.
- Breaking up the discredited financial institutions
However, because Parliament entered recess on July 22nd, The Green New Deal Group is relying on Parliament to let their proposals marinate, and then come back in October with an all-encompassing program that hopefully lives up to Roosevelt's New Deal. The absence of successful legislation that addresses the ‘triple crunch' will, as the Green New Deal group puts it, "leave the country very vulnerable."