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Switching to green technology isn’t just about climate change. Barbara Panvel offers more reasons why we have to think about our energy sources.

Is all this discussion about the causes of climate change a smokescreen?

The endless wrangling takes centre-stage instead of action.

Is it being encouraged by those whose business interests would be damaged by such

Whether or not climate change is man-made the proposed measures are needed to ensure energy security. As the industry’s own figures have consistently shown since the 90s, the oil supply will peak quite soon, some estimating the decline from 2010 and others from 2020. Prices will increase - indeed, for whatever reason, they have doubled since January.

Bearing this in mind, a contributor to the Stirrer’s Forum said that whatever the stance on the causes of climate change “ . . . schemes like wind farms, wave energy, solar, car and lift share, cleaner public transport etc. should already be done anyway . . . ”

Cllr Hughes also welcomed Birmingham’s commitment to insulating homes and using electric vehicles.

Between these two contributors, seven measures have been named and no doubt readers could add to that list.

New calculations produced by the New Economics Foundation for the Green New Deal Group reveal that £10 billion in ‘green quantitative easing’ invested in the energy efficiency sector could create 60,000 jobs (or 300,000 person-years of employment), reducing emissions by a further 3.96MtCO2e each year and so creating public savings of £4.5 billion over five years in reduced benefits and increased tax intake.

They calculate that £10 billion in green quantitative easing invested in onshore wind could increase wind’s contribution to the UK’s total electricity supply from its current 1.9 per cent to 10 per cent (39 TWhe), creating over 36,000 jobs in installation and direct and indirect manufacturing and a further 4,800 jobs in the operations and maintenance of the installed capacity and other related employmentover the entire 20 year lifetime of the installation (equivalent to 96,000 job-years).

Such measures would increase energy security, with more generation in the hands of UK-based companies. There would also be social benefits if components are made in this country and local people are employed in construction, operations and maintenance, greatly increasing the training and work opportunities for the large numbers of unemployed in many of the city’s districts

Such measures would be far more effective if undertaken within the widely commended international Contraction and Convergence system, complemented at national level by individual Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs) which would reduce use of oil, gas and coal and ensure fair access to energy for all.



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