We all know that talking is one thing and doing is another thing – but it is encouraging when politicians start talking sense, because that makes it seem more likely they’ll start doing sensible things.
There’s an interview with Prime Minister Gordon Brown in today’s Observer, in which he unveils a plan to invest public money in projects that should create 100,000 jobs in the UK, to try and beat back the economic recession. Importantly, he goes on to define what kind of jobs these will be. According to the Observer,
“School repairs, new rail links, hospital projects and plans to usher in a new digital age by investing in superfast broadband will be used to keep unemployment down. The plans will also be used to tackle climate change, by means of investments in eco-friendly projects such as electric cars and wind and wave power that would also create jobs.”
Sounds like Gordon has caught onto the idea of creating a low-carbon economy. Good stuff!
This kind of thing was talked about a lot while I was at the UN climate negotiations in Poznan. Rather than letting the financial crisis push environmental concerns to one side, there’s actually an exciting opportunity presented to us. It’s a chance to take stock of where we’re at. Climate change is not just a problem with the physical world. Climate change is happening because of the way our economies are structured, especially the dependence on fossil fuels. Investing in clean technologies and renewable energy supplies is a step in the right direction if we’re going to get to grips with this problem.
So, good work, Gordon – just don’t let that huge, CO2-belching coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth get the go-ahead, will you? Because that would suggest to us that you are, after all, just making New Year resolutions that you can’t be bothered to uphold.