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Food for Thought - Green Recovery Packages

Food For ThoughtGreen recovery packagesBy Felix DoddsThe past year has been fascinating look at how governments at least as part of the rhetoric have been talking about a ‘Green New Deal’. I am not sure who came up with the concept but I think it was  the Green New Deal Group (http://www.greennewdealgroup.org/  ). A group which launched in 2007 with Larry Elliot the Economics Editor of the Guardian, Charles Secrett and Tony Juniper both former Director of Friends of the Earth in the UK, Andy Simms from the New Economics Foundation  and Ann Pettifor former Director of Jubilee 2000The group drew inspiration from the: ”tone of President Roosevelt’s comprehensive response to the Great Depression to propose a modernised version, a ‘Green New Deal’ designed to power a renewables revolution, create thousands of green-collar jobs and rein in the distorting power of the finance sector while making more low-cost capital available for pressing priorities.”The theme seems to have picked up by politics across the world from President Obama to President Hu of China. There have been trillions of $ spent by governments trying to save their banks and financial institutions and in trying to secure new jobs. Recently HSBC brought out an analysis of the recovery packages. How Green were they? Who could be accused of rhetorical embellishment?  Well I have to say I was surprised with the League Table that HSBC produced. According to the report the by far biggest investor in green new deal was the Republic of Korea, 81% of the money in the recovery package is earmarked for green projects. This will creat it has been estimated over 950,000 new jobs.   Not surprising the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has praised the example set by his homeland. Japan and the Republic of Korea Launch Green New Deals. What should New Deal Deals include: according to  Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director they include: "Investments in clean-tech and renewable energy; infrastructure such as railways and cycle tracks and nature-based services like river systems and forests, can not only counter recession and unemployment but can also set the stage for more sustainable economic recovery and growth in the 21st century." The second highest investor in a green economy was the European Union at 59% of the Unions recovery budget earmarked for green activities. Third was China (38%) which seems to be also using the recession to rid themselves of some of their most polluting factories. But where according to the HSBC report does that put the most vocal countries about the need for a Green New Deal the France – 21%, Germany 13% the US – 12% and the UK 7%.  ...... Are these countries in danger of being left behind not only in recovery terms but in the race for being part of the new wave after the knowledge wave --- the environmental technology wave. As the UN Secretary General said in his New Green Deal speech in Poznan in December what we need is:“A revolution. a turning point. A moment when we turned away from a past that no longer works toward a more equitable and prosperous future.”......are we there yet? 
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