Molly is touring major centres across the South West to explore how a Green New Deal could transform the region’s economy and environment. The events bring together experts, cross-party politicians, academics, trade unionists and businesses to explore how investing in clean energy and public transport, insulating homes, making farming more sustainable and protecting and restoring nature could address the climate emergency and create thousands of quality new jobs.
“The climate emergency requires a new economic approach. One that is no longer centred on growth or unsustainable consumption but on a circular and green economy.
“We need a shift to renewable energy, prioritising investment in local, community-owned generation. This must go hand in hand with steep reductions in energy consumption through the mass insulation of homes and buildings and large scale investment in public transport and active travel. We also need to work with farmers to localise our food production and harness agriculture’s capacity to absorb carbon from the atmosphere.
“Crucially, a Green New Deal also offers the prospect of thousands of new jobs and seeks to tackle inequality and improve health and wellbeing.”
The idea of a Green New Deal was inspired by Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal in the US in the 1930s. Green Party MP Caroline Lucas was one of a group of experts who developed the idea around 10 years ago and it has been central to Green Party policy for many years. European Greens have also championed the idea, sponsoring a study in 2008, and the new EU Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, promised to establish a ‘European Green Deal’ in her first 100 days in office which bears some of the hallmarks of a Green New Deal.
Molly believes the South West could provide a showcase for a Green New Deal:
“The South West was once the beating heart of the industrial revolution. It can now become the centre of a green industrial revolution. The region has huge potential to be a beacon for the rest of the country – and the rest of Europe. We have the ability to produce more than 100% of our energy needs through a mixture of wind, solar, tidal and hydroelectric power. All we need is a plan to make it happen. And that plan is a Green New Deal.”