Tag Archives: green economy

No more nudges – only an entrepreneurial state can give us a green revolution

Nurturing UK cleantech enterprise-1This post is by Mariana Mazzucato, RM Phillips professor in the economics of innovation, SPRU, University of Sussex, author of The entrepreneurial state: debunking public vs private sector myths and Green Alliance trustee.

Speaking at the start of the COP21 meeting in Paris, President Obama told delegates:

“We have proved that strong economic growth and a safer environment no longer have to conflict with one another; they can work in concert with one another.”

He’s right that a green economy need not come at the expense of growth. Policy makers must also now recognise that we cannot rely on the private sector to bring about the kind of radical reshaping of the economy that is required. As Bill Gates recently acknowledged, only the state can provide the kind of patient finance and direction required to make a decisive shift.

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What should be the state’s role in developing a green economy?

Wind Turbine and sun from belowMany of us believe that the development of a vibrant green economy is vital to Britain’s economic as well as environmental future. But how should we best foster the green economy and is there a role for government intervention? Should the state try to actively stimulate green innovation and industrial development? Or should the ‘bumbling bureaucrats’ simply get out of the way and leave it to the dynamic venture capitalists and entrepreneurs?  Read more

Stop worrying about mystery lobbyists, the green economy is winning

PylonsThis post first appeared on Business Green.

On Friday afternoon, a spoof twitter account sent the great and the good of the energy world into a frenzy of speculation. It was the climax of an odd week, during which everyone seemed to be asking each other “Who are Power Line?”. At one point, a senior banking employee called and asked me if I knew. He’d been asked by one of his clients, a major building company, who had, in turn, been asked to find out by their major trade association. Read more

Why we need low carbon infrastructure, not “shovel ready” zombie roads

Cutting road works with hydraulic driven angle grinderThis post was first published on the New Statesman blog.

After three years of vigorous disagreement the political and economic commentariat seem to have found common ground. Infrastructure. Left and right now agree that it’s vital for the UK’s economic renewal, requires much greater infrastructure investment, and the Chancellor looks set to move it closer to the centre stage in the Budget. Read more

How to make City Deals greener

14560341_sThis is a guest post by Andy Nolan, Director of Sustainable Development at Sheffield City Council.

Eight core English cities including my own have now signed City Deals to boost their economies[1]. Work is already underway on putting the deals into practice, but there are many ways we can strengthen and build on what has been achieved so far.

The low carbon emphasis of the deals, for example, would be be much stronger if a number of things were to change: Read more

Conference diary: making the papers

Alastair Harper is Green Alliance’s senior policy adviser on Political Leadership and  roving party conference diarist.

Here his is first posting from the Conservative’s party conference in Birmingham, first published on Business Green.

Minutes after they read it on the cover of The Times yesterday morning, a private round table brought together MPs, ministers, businesses and NGOs to discuss the role of green in the recovery.

Two different letters, one leaked, one written openly, may just have changed everything. The letters said that those that want to invest into this country, cannot without greater certainty from government on the green agenda. Read more

Conference diary: all together now

Alastair Harper is Green Alliance’s senior policy adviser on Political Leadership and  roving party conference diarist.

Here his is second posting from the Labour’s conference in Manchester, first published on Business Green.

There is a serious problem with the party conference system – one that risks annihilating our chattering classes altogether. For three weeks our media, business leaders and charitable advocates chase the political elite around the country.

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Conference diary: does Labour do green?

Alastair Harper is Green Alliance’s senior policy adviser on Political Leadership and, while the season is with us, roving party conference diarist.

Here his is first posting from the Labour’s conference in Manchester, first published on Business Green.

Manchester is a Labour city. Ever since the city became a metropolitan borough council in 1974, it’s been controlled by Labour. Its MPs are Labour, and always have been. The ring of steel around the conference elite is smaller than when the Conservatives were here last year; the main hotel bar and the town hall, where the big New Statesman party was held, are both outside the barriers. Clearly, Labour and Manchester trust each other.

But can we trust Labour with the environment? The party certainly says so.

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Conference diary: the sideshow must go on

Alastair Harper is Green Alliance’s senior policy adviser on Political Leadership and roving party conference diarist.

Here his is second posting from the Liberal Democrats conference in Brighton, first published on Business Green.

There seem to be three approaches when taking a booth on the floor of a party conference. One is to go for a gimmick that has no apparent relation to your cause – one this year features a game of scalextric promoting guide dogs. Two is to have your stall manned by what other industries call ‘booth babes’, selling corporate wares or needs. The final option is the church fete approach: a fifteen-year old banner celebrating Liberal Democrat Friends of Happiness, manned by an octogenarian reluctant to use up their flyers on the potentially unworthy. Read more

Don’t turn off the future

This article first appeared in the New Statesman.

There is a sector where our economy is not dying, but flying. Somewhere that the UK continues to dominate the global stage, creating the deals, skills, services and products in an area the whole world is desperate to embrace. It will take until 2014 (at best) for our GDP to return to the pre-financial crisis level of 2007. In the same period, this sector will have grown by 40 per cent.

Unfortunately, this sector is the green economy. That means that, as far as some are concerned, it doesn’t count. Because green stuff isn’t meant to be about growth, only bills. In an oddly moralising way, many people seem to feel that something that does good can’t also bring economic benefits. Read more

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