The “Green New Deal” – public and private investment to create “green collar” jobs to make UK buildings energy efficient already underway in Birmingham, will ‘go national’ in October.
Birmingham City Council’s Birmingham Energy Savers (BES) scheme has already enabled more than1,000 homes and other council buildings to benefit from environmentally-friendly retrofit work including energy saving measures such as solar panels.
Guardian columnist Anne Karpf described the GND as being probably the nearest modern equivalent to the Lucas Aerospace plan.
Four decades ago, Lucas Aerospace shop stewards proposed a green way out of recession, drawing up “an alternative corporate plan for socially useful and environmentally desirable production”, but were not given political or corporate support.
Will it be different this time?
We read that Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, met Council Leader Sir Albert Bore, members of the BES team and officials from other local authorities.
Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, said: “The foundations for a green revolution have been laid in Birmingham, but now is the time to accelerate the pace of change. The benefits we can reap are huge. The Minister saw for himself the work we have done on the BES Scheme, and the ways in which it is helping cut emissions, moving families out of fuel poverty and creating employment opportunities – making it something all individual households, public bodies and local businesses should consider getting involved with”.
As Anne Karpf says, like the Lucas workers at a time of recession and redundancy, the Green New Deal Group has presented an urgently needed, socially useful and environmentally sustainable alternative to the situation facing us.