June 11, 2009

UK committed to 40,000 green jobs in 5 years

Jim Harris
Magazine Article

By: Jordana Levine

Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown plans to create the first ‘green cities’ in the world.  His goal is to introduce huge numbers of electric cars on the streets of Britain and create 40,000 green collar jobs in the next five years.[1]

The 2009 Budget, announced in April, is supposed to boost a ‘green recovery’ for the country, aiming to cut carbon emissions by 34 percent in 2020.  It is the world’s first binding, short-term carbon budget, committed to building carbon capture and storage facilities, creating renewable energy projects, and providing incentives for efficient power plants.[2]

£1.4 billion of funding (Can$2.5 billion) has been allotted to fight climate change through supporting low-carbon industries and green collar jobs alone.  The £1.4 billion has been broken down to fund offshore wind projects, energy and resource efficiency for personal and professional use, low-carbon technologies and more.  As well, the European Investment Bank has set aside £4 billion for renewable energy projects and an investment of £2.5 billion will make sure that combined heat and power plants don’t have to pay the climate change levy.[3]

The Budget will invite councils to bid to become Britain’s first green cities, of which there will be two or three, that will get to run trials for electric cars among other things.[4]  PM Brown says that the government would gives incentives to car companies to create a worldwide market for electric and hybrid cars out of Britain.  In April 2009, the European Investment Bank approved over £700 million in loans for Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan to develop green vehicles.[5]

To make the purchase of low-emitting vehicles easier, the Budget will allow British residents to scrap their old cars and buy a new, environmentally friendly vehicle with a £2,000 discount.  The scheme is expected to save the nation’s motor industry in by creating demand for new cars and increasing consumer confidence.[6] However, some analysts believe that scrapping the cars could actually increase emissions. [7]

1  Grice, Andrew.  “Brown’s electric dream for Britain.” The Independent.  8 April 2009.
2  “Budget 2009: Green measures at a glace.”  Guardian.co.uk.  22 Apr 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/22/budget-2009-green-measures
3  Ibid.
4  Grice, Andrew.  “Brown’s electric dream.”
5  Ibid.
6 Wang, Dongying and Rob Welham.  “Scrappage scheme launched in Britain to save car industry.”  Xinhua News Agency.  21 May 2009.
7  “Budget 2009.”

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