Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Design for Life - Comhar New Green Deal

As an exercise in PR it generated a lot of publicity, but I'm not sure whether the launch of the inclusion of the 'turn Anglo into a Green Bank' was the wisest thing for the Comhar report to include. The media focussed extensively on the proposal which was only a small part of an otherwise highly interesting report.

Comhar lead off by making an important point, which in my words, not theirs, there has been a lot of talk about the importance of Green policy without much action as to how to turn it into action.

Comhar define the New Green Deal as follows

. Revive the Irish economy and create job opportunities through building an innovative, low carbon and resource efficient society.
· Protect ecosystems and biodiversity while reducing fossil fuel dependency.
· Provide for greater social inclusion through stimulating new green jobs, reducing fuel poverty
and delivering better access to transport.
· Build ecological resilience and capacity to adapt to climate change.

This goes a little further than the normal Green Energy discussion and touches on all aspects of our economy and our society.

Priority areas for investment are identified as

The priority areas for investment should
· Improve the energy efficiency of existing housing stock
· Renewable Energy
· Transforming the National Grid
· Delivering Sustainable Mobility
· Public Sector Investments
· Skills and Training
· Green Infrastructure

There is nothing mind blowing here, much of it has been written down before, but it is well argued and well worth reading. I wouldn't claim to agree with all of the recommendations, but the creation of a national decarbonisation fund is a clever one, as is the idea of promoting green banking, although not in the guise of Anglo and definitely not in state ownership.

It's not a short report (at 64 pages), but then considered reports frequently are not and it is very easily read.

Another valuable contribution to the debate as to how we use the current economic fun and games as a means of redesigning our lives

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