Gordon Brown made a rare, unexpected and little noticed intervention on climate change over the weekend when he penned an article for the Huffington Post.
Gordon Brown made a rare, unexpected and little noticed intervention on climate change over the weekend when he penned an article for the Huffington Post. He wrote:
“As I will argue in a forthcoming book, low carbon technologies, renewables and balanced energy polices — and their export potential — represent a new way of living that can help free Europe and America from today’s high unemployment and the specter of economic stagnation.”
The former prime minister – who ironically will be better remember in Britain for pushing Heathrow expansion than for his green credentials – continued:
“The biggest driver of climate change action – and the biggest job creator of all – could be a European Union commitment to a low carbon energy super-grid as a mega pan-European initiative. The evidence is compelling…
“We can add economic common sense to the argument for change – because growth and new jobs for today’s 200 million unemployed global workers can come from environmental strategies based on low carbon technologies.”
Mr Brown’s piece follows on from an impressive speech William Hague gave last month in New York, in which he made a very similar argument, underlining the political consensus on this issue amongst British politicians – at least at a rhetorical level.
The foreign secretary said:
“We need to shift investment urgently from high carbon business as usual to the low carbon economy – this means building an essentially decarbonised global economy by mid century…
“The EU must accelerate its own progress and demonstrate that a low carbon growth path makes us more competitive. I am convinced that this is in the long-term interests of Europe’s economy.”
Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems all support raising the European 2020 carbon target – but there is concern that key climate and clean energy budgets could be cut by the Treasury in this month’s Comprehensive Spending Review.
Nobel economics laureate Paul Krugma, has previously written:
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“We know how to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. We have a good sense of the costs — and they’re manageable. All we need now is the political will.”