Green House has submitted evidence to four recent and ongoing UK public policy inquiries: to the inquiry being conducted by Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee into the role of the Treasury in relation to sustainable development and environmental protection; to the Kerslake Review into the current role, responsibilities and operating mandate of the Treasury, commissioned by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell; to the inquiry on Intergenerational Fairness by the parliamentary Work and Pensions Committee; and to the open consultation on the government’s National Infrastructure Commission.
Green House evidence to EAC Inquiry on HM Treasury and sustainable development
Green House evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee
Green House submission to the National Infrastructure Commission
Green House evidence to the Parliamentary Committee on Political and Constitutional Reform
The Political and Constitutional Reform Committee is holding an inquiry looking at the future of devolution in the United Kingdom, in the light of the referendum result. Among the questions the Committee will be considering are how devolution should be taken forward in Scotland, and whether England, Wales and Northern Ireland should be offered the level of devolution that has been discussed in relation to Scotland.
Green House has submitted written evidence, which can be downloaded here (pdf, 272 K)
Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy Report
This was a big thing (warning - so big that the report website repeatedly caused my browser to crash): commissioned by a 'Global Commission on the Economy and Climate...advised by a group of world-leading economists, including Lord Nicholas Stern, Co-Chair of the Commission, and two Nobel laureates', and launched last month at the UN Headquarters. You probably saw some of the coverage - although, perhaps surprisingly, there wasn't that much. But then, perhaps people felt it was just too good to be true, given that its headline conclusion was 'that economic growth and action on climate change can now be achieved together'. Green House's John Blewitt certainly thinks so, and has written a response here, entitled 'Having Your Cake and Eating It Too'.
Inquiry into Green Finance by the Environmental Audit Committee
It is common parlance amongst Greens to talk about the inherent link between the instability of capitalism as an economic system and the uncontrolled exploitation of nature's wealth that is leading to ecological collapse. These two seem to come together in the question of 'green finance'.
The early response from the conventional finance institutions has been to seek to profit from investment in green sectors, for example by creating carbon-based derivatives. In our evidence, written by Molly Scott Cato and Jonathan Essex, we suggested using an Energy Return on Energy Invested measure to assess whether an investment is green, and a much greater emphasis on public and co-operative financing of green infrastructure.
Read the full evidence on Green Finance (doc, 708 K) here.
Green Economy Inquiry: Environmental Audit Committee
We recently marked the centenary of the birth of E. F. Schumacher and it is 40 years since he published Small is Beautiful we have seen an acceleration of species loss, rapidly rising carbon emissions, and the depletion of a range of essential resources. Over the past few years the issue of climate change has moved from a peripheral concern of scientists and environmentalists to being a central issue in global policy-making. This is but one of many indications that our economy is in fundamental conflict with our ecological systems; it was these indications that stimulated the development of a green approach to the economy.
Nicholas Stern famously identified climate change as the greatest ever example of market failure. Climate change is only one, although clearly the most serious one, of the many environmental crises we are facing. In the discourse of orthodoxy each of these is an independent example of ‘market failure’, the solution being merely to strengthen property rights and extend the reach of the market, as in proposing carbon trading as a solution to climate change. For a green economist, by contrast, the strict market ideology itself is the failure, and beneath and beneath that failure lies a deeper failing of our society to recognize and celebrate its place within a living, breathing planetary system.
Download the complete submission here EAC submission (doc, 724 K).