“Deep reform” of financial system needed to fund UK Green New Deal, says report backed by MPs

Developing countries will bear an estimated 75% of the costs of the climate crisis.

The UK must adopt a “radical” Green New Deal to “rescue our collective futures” from climate catastrophe, according to a report backed by senior MPs.

A public-led UK Green New Deal is needed as part of a radical transition to a low-carbon economy, according to progressive think tank Common Wealth.

The think tank has published a 10-point plan, backed by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Labour MP Clive Lewis, outlining the need for an increase in government spending to rapidly decarbonise the economy.

It also argues for a “transformation” of the country’s financial system to allow it to “mobilise and direct” investment towards driving decarbonisation.

Since the Paris climate agreement was signed in 2016, banks have financed $1.9tn (£795bn) of fossil fuel projects globally, the report says, highlighting that Barclays has funnelled $85bn (£63bn) toward the fossil fuel industry in that time.

“Without deep reform, private finance will accelerate climate breakdown,” the report says.

Green MP Lucas said: “A UK Green New Deal is vital to our future, and to the future of the 1.4 million young people who have joined inspiring school climate strikes across the globe.

“Ten years on from the original UK Green New Deal I was proud to be a part of, a transformation of our economy toward sustainability and justice is more urgent than ever. 

Labour MP Lewis said that the report sets out the “ambition our politics needs” in the face of a climate crisis, adding: “The time for incrementalism has passed. The climate emergency demands an emergency response – a bold, government-led action to transform our society.”

According to the report, the poorest half of the world’s population cause just 10% of carbon dioxide emissions, while developing countries will bear an estimated 75% of the costs of the climate crisis.

The plan also calls for the creation of millions of well-paid jobs in renewable sectors, the introduction of a 100% renewable energy system and the building of affordable, zero-carbon housing.

Joe Evans is a freelance journalist and editor. He is on Twitter: @joeevanswrites

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