Tag Archives: green economy

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

Greening the economy is not a “nice to have”

Conservative MP Laura Sandys argues that low carbon growth is the only game in town.

This post was first published on BusinessGreen.

There are few terms in today’s industrial dictionary that are so loose, so ill-defined, as the term “The Green Economy”. Green jobs might have green outcomes, but not necessarily green functions. From the heavy engineering behind the construction of wind farms, to the white coats in universities perfecting smart metering technology, to those who will install the Green Deal – all of these job opportunities comprise part of the Green Economy. Read more

David Cameron should be worried

This comment by Green Alliance director Matthew Spencer first appeared in the Evening Standard.

David Cameron should be worried that his party is now being regularly portrayed as dropping its environmental pledges.  Matthew d’Ancona, writing in Wednesday’s Evening Standard, read the reshuffle as a sign that ‘tory greenery’ was a fad, but it is so much more than a passing fashion. Read more

Why valuing nature should not be part of a green economy

This is a guest post by Hannah Griffiths, head of policy and campaigns at the World Development Movement. She argues that measures to value nature and ecosystem services will only serve to undermine progress.  

The battle for the meaning of the words ‘green economy’ at the Rio+20 summit will be every bit as fraught as the battle for the meaning of the words ‘sustainable development’ was twenty years ago. And the outcome is likely to encompass an ‘all things to all people’ type approach. This is leading to some contradictory policy measures being proposed under the heading green economy.

There are many positive proposals in the green economy agenda, such as tax reform and regulation. But one key policy measure – the valuation of natural resources and ecosystem services – threatens to undermine any progress made in other areas. Read more

World leaders: here’s the compass you’ll need in Rio

This guest post is by Kate Raworth, senior researcher at Oxfam. The ideas in this post are also explored in a collection of writings about the Earth Summit, Rio+20: where it should lead, published by Green Alliance and the RSPB.

Security is up, there’s a buzz in the halls. World leaders are now at the Rio+20 conference (well, at least the ones who bothered to turn up).

But I get the feeling that they packed their suitcases badly for this trip. Too many are weighed down with the baggage of short term national self interest.  Was there no room in their bags for future generations, no space in their entourage for the world’s poorest people?

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We need a new economics – here’s how to create it

This post by the secretary general of The Club of Rome, Ian Johnson, examines how our current economic model could be re-engineered to meet the social and environmental challenges of the 21st century. It is an extract from his contribution to a collection of writings about the Earth Summit, Rio+20: where it should lead, published by Green Alliance and the RSPB.

High on the agenda of Rio+20 negotiators this month will be the green economy: the need to redirect our economies and economic growth towards sustainability. The wording of the negotiating texts will be vague enough to find political support almost anywhere and this will sit well with ministries of finance, most of which will not attend the meeting and will feel little or no real commitment to its outcome. A text will, no doubt, be drawn up with sufficient flexibility to allow for anything to pass for green growth. Everyone will leave happy and satisfied with the result: another tick in the box of environmental diplomacy.

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