'100 months to save the planet'

         

BBC, July 21, 2008

A "Green New Deal" is needed to solve current problems of climate change, energy and finance, a report argues.

According to the Green New Deal Group, humanity only has 100 months to prevent dangerous global warming.

Its proposals include major investment in renewable energy and the creation of thousands of new "green collar" jobs.

The name is taken from President Franklin D Roosevelt's "New Deal", launched 75 years ago to bring the US out of the Great Depression.

The new grouping says rising greenhouse gas emissions, combined with escalating food and energy costs, mean the globe is facing one of its biggest crises since the 1930s.

Its members include former Friends of the Earth UK director Tony Juniper, Green MEP Caroline Lucas and Andrew Simms, policy director of the New Economics Foundation (nef).

In an article for the BBC News website's Green Room series, Mr Simms warns that the combination of the current credit crunch, rising energy prices and accelerating emissions are "conspiring to create the perfect storm".

"The UK and the global economy are entering unchartered waters, and the weather forecast is not bad, but appalling.

"Instead of desperate bailing-out, we need a comprehensive plan and new course to navigate each obstacle in this new phenomenon."

The group's recommendations include:

  • massive investment in renewable energy and wider transformation in the UK
  • the creation of thousands of new "green collar" jobs
  • making low-cost capital available to fund the UK's green economic shift
  • building a new alliance between environmentalists, industry, agriculture and unions

The authors said their proposals drew inspiration from President Roosevelt's 1933 New Deal.

During 100 days, he sent a record number of bills to Congress, all of which went on to become law, including banking reforms and emergency relief programmes.

The prolific reforms were credited with turning around the US economy.

The authors say that that within "the very real timeframe of 100 months" the world will reach the point where the risk of "runaway" climate change became unacceptably high.





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