That would be nice… a Green New Deal. Hugh and Ciarán go through the idea of a European Green Deal and who’s talking about it and how.

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Show Notes

GND Stuff Hugh Read

Not going to repeat their bullet points but the New Economics Foundation and DiEM25 (among others) is the best point by point plan around (though the site misses some details). The general point is you could do a successor to the Junker plan (European Fund for Strategic Investments) but make it both better and geared specifically towards Green investment via Bonds backed by the ECB and bond markets.

Ireland’s dealy is okay looking but wreaks of the long term planning with little short term change Sinn Fein is grumpy because they’ve suggested a lot of it before

Our old pal, former UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, wrote a relatively long piece in Prospect magazine (hmm). It’s a pretty good read and makes some relevant general points:

  • Short term you need plans too. You’re not going to be in government forever so making plans for 2050 is great but if you don’t have short term plans that get you ahead of the overall goal you’re not going to make it

But looking back, it’s hard not to regret that we weren’t more imaginative. Some of our actions then—such as the car scrappage scheme—now rank as missed opportunities. Yes, the new cars being subsidised were lower in emissions than the old bangers they replaced, but how much better placed might the UK car industry be today if all the resources had gone into getting ahead of curve on battery-powered cars and infrastructure?

  • This idea has been around for quite some time and hasn’t come to enough

The phrase “Green New Deal” is a shorthand for the approach we need: tackling climate change through a great civil mobilisation of people into purposeful work. It was coined in Britain, under the auspices of the New Economic Foundation a decade ago, although the time didn’t prove right.

  • The need to argue for a clear plan and keep pushing for it

We can agree that children need an education, but each party has its own ideas on how it is best done, and the contest between them is healthy. If the climate needs a similar contest of plans, we shouldn’t shrink from that.

  • Especially on the details, “Net zero carbon” means different things to different people

There is a reason why Britain’s carbon emissions are so low: we’ve outsourced them. Steel made here in the UK counts towards our emissions. But steel made in China, shipped to the UK, used by a UK manufacturer and then sold to a UK consumer counts towards China’s emissions—and not ours.

Quoting Dieter Helm professor of energy policy at Oxford: “If you really want to reduce global warming… it doesn’t matter where emissions take place, and therefore the only way to judge it is with carbon consumption.”

GND Stuff Ciarán Read


an interview with TXEMA GUIJARRO a member of Spanish Parliament with Podemos, the interview was conducted 28/4/19

In response to concrete left vision

“The two touchstones of our program are our Green New Deal package and the series of measures we are proposing as a response to the demands of the feminist movement.

If I had to highlight two clear transformative proposals, in particular, I would first point to our commitment to establish a number of strategic public companies. This will include a state investment bank so as to secure Spain’s energy transition to 100 percent renewables over the next 20 years.

We are also proposing to create a public energy company, building on the great work at a municipal level in places like Barcelona where we have been governing with our allies in Barcelona en Comú. The creation of a public distribution company will be key in a context in which we have to undertake a profound transformation of all energy production.

This will obviously come into conflict, however, with the interests of the existing energy giants. The energy market in Spain is really a cartel, with some of the highest prices in Europe. And so we are also aiming to challenge this capture of the market by establishing such a national company.”

Drilling into this further TG brings up creating “a program of mass public employment, the likes of which have never really been seen in Spain before. We are talking about the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs.”

The particular concern in Spain is Desertification where it’s not unrealistic to say the Sahara starts in Spain now. The Sun and Waves are the major untapped energy sources

“My colleague Jaume Asens said the other day that if the planet was a bank, it would have been bailed out by now.”


an outline of the benefits, maybe more social, of an American GND, inspired by FDR’s Economic Bill of Rights (that never got fully realised)

Interesting things this article mentions are programs that would aid people by guaranteeing rights to food, water and a storm proof shelter as a means of avoiding the (almost inevitable) conflict that Climate Change would bring over such things.

The article argues a distinction between work and toil, freedom to work, freedom from toil.

Also suggests free public transport as a means of moving away from personal transport and a borderless society to help people deal with the local environmental catastrophes


The Labour Party’s John McDonnell on how a “Green Industrial Revolution” can advance a radical program against climate change

Jeremy quote “Just as the US GI Bill gave education, housing and income support to every unemployed veteran returning from the Second World War, the next Labour Government will guarantee that all energy workers are offered retraining, a new job on equivalent terms and conditions covered by collective agreements, and fully supported in their housing and income needs through transition.”

John argues that Labour has a focus on guaranteeing a good quality of life for the working class during a Green transition as historically economic transitions have fucked them (mentioning Thatcher’s deindustrialisation of the UK).

Mentions his thoughts that an invocation of the New Deal will work for Yanks but tying it to the idea of the industrial revolution would work better for Brits.

A pamphlet at a Labour Party Confrence (Green Transformation) argued for attempting to reverse the decline of biodiversity (amongst other things) which I don’t see brought up enough. Removing British companies from the London stock exchange if they don’t meet green criteria is also an interesting idea.


A Barcelona graduate, policy wonk and activist talk about their plan for the EU wide GND __

Generating 100 percent of energy from renewables by 2050, improving drinking water infrastructure, guaranteeing a “green” job to every adult.

Points out that Podemos’ green turn is relatively recent, Más Madrid’s public object library plan is cool. Ada Colau of Barcelona has accomplished a lot in Barcelona which colours Spain’s more municipalist solutions.

“As Jane McAlevey explained in a recent article for Jacobin, the much-needed alliances between trade unions and environmentalists remain rare.” pointing to union examples of advocating for expansion of airports etc etc.

“Similarly in France, Emmanuel Macron has abandoned his initial “environmentalist” posture — as a petition signed by more than two million people recently reminded him. Indeed, his only green minister, the well-known activist Nicolas Hulot, resigned after noting the president’s indifference towards climate questions.” The article points out that the actions of the green parties in France/Germany are insufficiently radical to combat climate change.

PIE IN THE SKY: workplace temp regulation