Achieving lower carbon emissions by 2020 is no easy feat. The government’s recent white paper has real targets and new ideas. But the main concern is that industry have been left off. The market does require incentives for industry to make the investments in new technologies.
Ed Millband predicts up to 400,000 new green jobs will be created by 2015 (rising to 1.2 million by 2020). Difficult to imagine in face of the closure of the wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight. The Danish company, Vestas Wind Systems, plans to make 625 workers redundant at the end of July, despite rising profits and strong demand. The UK just won’t be able to scale up renewable energy projects. There are only 2,500 wind turbines in the UK – we should be the global leaders in wind turbine technology.
Which brings me back to companies – many of whom are already leading in the field of energy saving technologies. But I can’t help thinking that McDonalds could hold the winning card – transforming our relationship with energy and food. Imagine the restaurants in 5 years time; powered by renewable energy, meat and veg that is sourced from the very best British farmers. The message would be all about eating what’s in our back yard and using micro generation to power their sites. Now that would make me start buying burgers for my kids. British farmers, the energy story, and addressing obesity – something that would make a real difference. They too have finally been hit by the credit crunch, Mr Ronald McDonald it could be time for change, a new name and government grants for Mr McDaylight. Now that would help hit Millband’s new green jobs target.