Green councillors have been calling for a ‘Green New Deal’ to reboot the economy, provide jobs and tackle the climate crisis.
On 2nd June Bristol City Council’s Cabinet meeting included the news that the Council is forecasting a funding gap of around £86 million as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is made up of a combination of loss of income and additional expenditure to pay for the response to the emergency. Unemployment is also forecast to rise steeply in coming months.
Leader of the Green Group, Councillor Eleanor Combley said:
“Estimates that unemployment could rise to 20% in Bristol are chilling at a time when many people are already struggling to make ends meet. This is why more than ever we need a Green New Deal. We need many thousands of low carbon jobs here in Bristol to transform our houses so they are warmer and more energy efficient, revolutionise our transport systems and roll out renewable energy. Investment should be provided for a Green New Deal nationally through the Bank of England’s quantitative easing programme and through borrowing to invest to address both the climate crisis, re-boot the economy and provide much needed new jobs.”
Councillor Martin Fodor said: “Retrofitting homes and sustainable energy projects have never been more needed. With aerospace workers faced with redundancy now, as well as the prospect of rising unemployment across the whole city, we need a just transition for the workforce to ensure new skills and work that’s needed. It is time to redouble efforts for a Green New Deal – we need to build back better to make Bristol fit for the future.”
Councillor Fodor previously called for a Green New Deal to be incorporated in the Council’s recovery response in a question made to a cabinet meeting on April 28.(1) The Green party has said that any post-coronavirus recovery package needs to have a Green New Deal at the centre – “rapid and deep investment to reboot the economy and create green jobs while tackling the climate crisis and reducing inequality”.