British Conservatives pledge cash for recycling and green investment

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

A green investment bank and paying families to recycle were among a wave of schemes promised by the Tory Party - if they win the next election.

George, MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the green measures during a talk in London on November 24, 2009 at Imperial College.

Mr. Osborne promised a 'new green investment bank to get new technologies out of the lab and into new businesses creating new jobs'.

Also promised were 'new Green ISAs so any member of the public can be an investor in the green technology revolution'.

Further he promised to pay families to recycle 'as incentive to encourage them, not stinging them with bin taxes to punish them'.

He said: "A government prepared to lead by example and cut its own emissions by 10% in one year, and a government prepared to learn from companies like Tesco, BT and B&Q who have successfully cut emissions and energy use.

"The Treasury has a role in ensuring any emission scheme is efficient and effective, which has not always been the case with the EU's Emission Trading Scheme so far.

"We want to see the trading scheme succeed, and that is why we will auction carbon permits, instead of giving them away.

"But in addition to trading schemes, and in order to put a predictable floor on the price of carbon, there is a role for green taxation."

Reacting to Mr Osborne's speech Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said: "A new bank to drive money into green investment is a good proposal.

"We now need clarity on how the Conservatives would make this sufficiently ambitious to provide the tens of billions needed to create a low carbon economy and develop new green industries.

"We need to encourage long term investment from pension funds and savings schemes to fund clean energy projects.

"What's missing from the debate is a green strategy for taxation that will reward companies and individuals that reduce their carbon emissions and save resources, and penalise those that needlessly pollute."

Chairman of the Aldersgate Group a coalition of green thinking business groups, Peter Young, said: "The Conservative proposals for consultation on a Green Investment Bank is very encouraging.

"This was one of the major recommendations of a recent report from the Aldersgate Group, a green investment bank could play a major role in financing and accelerating the low-carbon transition, while acting as a useful intermediary between investors and policy makers.

"It would also be a major source of competitive advantage, ensuring the City of London remains at the forefront of clean tech financing and carbon markets."

While this all sounds very nice and fine and while paying families to recycle is a laudable idea the question is why not simply create government recycling centers that pay people a certain amount for whatever recyclables they bring in, be this plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, tin cans.

Then again as far as glass bottles and -jars are concerned why does not one of the parties have the guts to reintroduce a deposit on all glass bottles and do the same for glass jars too. That we we would really save energy for we would not have to make new glass nor would we have to melt down or otherwise recycle glass bottles and -jars.

It always amazes with that all those politicians try to reinvent the wheel when the solutions have all been here before. Let's look back to the Second World War when all materials were collected.

Now add the incentive to that that people will get paid, like in the USA, at recycling centers for the recyclables and people will bring in stuff, of that we can be sure.

In many parts of the USA where such centers pay good money there are not soda cans and no bottles anywhere in the countryside thrown; kids collect them to get pocket money and more than that even, and not just kids.

But in Britain, it would appear, the wheel has to be reinvented each and every time that solutions are being sought.

© 2009