Thursday, March 28, 2013

Victoria's Green Matters - 28th March 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury

What a missed opportunity! The UK’s growing green economy was completely ignored in the recent budget and with it the chance to create many much needed jobs and a cleaner, low carbon society.

It always used to be that the polluter paid but Chancellor George Osborne has concentrated all his efforts on subsidies for fracking for shale gas, tax breaks for oil companies and exemptions from carbon targets for dirty industries.

The low carbon sector of the economy is doing incredibly well. It is growing at a rate of 5% per year, employs a million people and exports £5 billion more than it imports. This means that it makes up 9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The worldwide market for green goods and services is worth £3 trillion per year.

The best way to lessen the continually increasing demand for energy would be to invest in a massive building renovation scheme. This is supposed to be the government’s ‘Green Deal’ but consumers now have to borrow money at interest rates of 7-8% if they want to retro-fit their homes to present insulation targets. If you borrow money for one of these schemes in Germany, it is at an interest rate of 1%. The ‘Green Deal’ was supposed to encourage homeowners to insulate their homes thereby saving enough money on their energy bills to easily pay off a low interest loan and so leading to a smaller carbon footprint for the household.

What a shame that we lag so far behind our European colleagues!

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

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