22 April 2020
A Green New Deal has to be central to any post-coronavirus recovery package, the Green Party has said on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day [Wednesday 22 April].
With the Office for Budget Responsibility predicting a reduction in economic activity in many sectors , the Greens have set out a plan for rapid and deep investment to reboot the economy and create green jobs while tackling the climate crisis and reducing inequality.
The investment, through the Bank of England’s QE programme and through borrowing-to-invest, would transform the UK’s housing to make all homes warmer and more energy efficient, revolutionise our transport and rapidly roll out renewable energy across the country. Hundreds of thousands of low carbon jobs would be created to carry out this work.
Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said the government must not fall back on its business as usual approach to deal with the economic crisis facing the country when it leaves lockdown.
He said: “The government must be focussed first and foremost on dealing with the coronavirus crisis that is having devastating consequences both in the UK and across the world. However, Earth Day is an important reminder that the climate crisis is still looming.
“The impact of coronavirus has laid bare the inequalities that exist in our society and our lack of resilience. The recovery has to spell an end to these once and for all, not make them worse.
“We can direct emergency economic support so that it powers a move to a sustainable, secure economy and make sure, once we come out of this emergency period, we will have an economy and a society that is more able to withstand future shocks and tackle the climate crisis.
“A green recovery is the only way to deal with the huge economic challenges while tackling the climate crisis, creating security and leaving behind the inequality that has damaged our society for so long.”
At the last general election, the Greens pledged to invest £100 billion a year in climate action for the next ten years.  The plan included building 100,000 energy-efficient homes each year, revolutionising transport infrastructure, rapidly rolling out renewable energy in Britain and creating hundreds of thousands of low carbon jobs.
The current best estimates of the likely investment needed comes from the think tank Common Weal who calculate the likely total investment for a Scottish Green New Deal as £170bn. Extrapolating their calculations suggests the cost for the UK as a whole may be £100 billion a year, for a minimum of ten years. £100 billion is less than 5 per cent of UK GDP. The Green Party is committed to invest on the scale the science dictates to save our climate.
At the last general election the Green Party pledged to invest £100 billion a year for the next decade in climate action as part of the most ambitious Green New Deal of any political party. We proposed to borrow £91.2 billion a year, to pay for capital expenditure. A further £9 billion a year of operational spending will be met from tax changes, including increasing Corporation Tax to 24%