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PM Gordon Brown has today told Brits we must go green. He has seriously upped investment in wind farms but is short on ideas in other, more controversial areas.
In a speech delivered at the Government’s Low Carbon Economy Summit on London’s South Bank (full transcript here), Brown said going green was a “chance to seize the economic future - securing our prosperity as a nation by reaping the benefits of the global transition to a clean economy.”
He likened the forthcoming green revolution to the industrial revolution, the coming of the car and the advent of the computer:
“Look at the way this happened in the past: when the steam engine, the internal combustion engine and the microprocessor transformed not just technology but the whole economy: the way society was organised and the way people lived.
“Now we are about to embark on a fourth technological transformation - to low carbon energy and energy efficiency. And in their wake - as before - will come a myriad of changes in the way we live, the way we move around, the way we run our businesses, the things we produce and consume - which will make the low-carbon economy a new engine of productivity and economic growth.”
So, was there an announcement of a huge pile of money to get Brits out of their cars and on to more sustainable forms of transport? Er, no.
Despite all the recent Government announcements about more cash for cycling (£120m was announced in January), the money allotted is pitiful compared to the economic benefits (said to be£1.3bn in this report) that would accrue from more people cycling more often.
The British Government caves at the first whiff of fuel protests from motorists and this ain’t something that’s going to change in a hurry. Politicians say they’re planning for the future, but for ‘future’ read ‘their future’, not ‘our future’.