Posted on 28/04/2009
With the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December of this year, the new budget's perspective on sustainability doesn't come a moment to soon. We in the Centre for Research into Sustainability at Royal Holloway welcome the environmental initiatives outlined. Positioning green technologies as a key growth area for the future and investing in green collar jobs and low carbon industries is to be applauded.
However, no amount of investment in relatively environmentally sustainable economic activities will undo the negative impacts of the traditional economy. In this respect the most important 'green' aspect of the new budget is the commitment to reduce UK carbon emissions by 34%. But as we have seen with the Climate Change Act 2008, commitments and even legislation don't always guarantee action.
Now more than ever we need joined up government which is imbued with moving towards sustainability. If the current Government and future ones are serious about tackling climate change, every budget will need to be a green one, and far more radically and fundamentally than this one has been.
The views here are those of Dr Laura Spence, and not necessarily those of the School of Management. Laura Spence is Reader in Business Ethics at Royal Holloway University of London and Director of the Centre for Research into Sustainability.
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