If you have children and expect to have grandchildren, you might like to know just how little your government is thinking about them. The following table (data from the Financial Times) sets out the national ‘economic stimulus’ packages for dealing with the current economic crisis and the fraction – typically pretty small – that goes to green programmes.
Even the green investments are rather illusory. Most of them are only partially credible (especially in China), and many are bound up with very ungreen initiatives. For example, the Italian, French and German figures all include programmes to encourage car owners to buy newer, greener vehicles. But not only is this of doubtful environmental value (because of the ’embedded carbon’ put into the environment by building new cars) but thsi approach simply perpetuates the car culture that is half of the current problem.
Nor are things that are not in these packages exactly helping. For example, Canada will spend $150 million on low-carbon energy in this package. Very nice. What a pity is also plans to invest billions and billions in digging up the environmentally catastrophic tar shales in Alberta. It’s as though they have decided to take an aspirin before chopping their leg off.
I think I’ll move to South Korea.