Newly elected leader calls for a Green New Deal for Wales

26 January 2009

Jake Griffiths, new leader of Wales Green PartyOn the day that Corus announced substantial job loses he called for a real Green New Deal for Wales[2] to help tackle the economic crisis gripping Wales and the rest of the world and a move away from the failed economic policies of the Labour and Conservative parties which have brought communities to the brink not only economically, but also socially and environmentally. The Green New Deal for Wales is a response to the credit crunch and wider energy and food crises, to the lack of comprehensive, joined-up action from politicians and is based on sustainable economic development, living within our means environmentally and social justice.

Jake Griffiths[1], Leader of the Wales Green Party, said "The Welsh, UK and global economies are facing a combination of three events - a credit-fuelled financial crisis, accelerating climate change, and ever decreasing finite resources, such as oil - which have come together with devastating effect. Wales has not experienced an economic downturn like this for decades, perhaps since the Great Depression, and if the right policies are not put in place communities are going to be devastated."
He continued "There is broad agreement for a financial stimulus package to boost the economy but it is vital that it focuses on tackling this ‘triple crunch'. We cannot return to failed policies which have brought us to where we are now. We need a Green New Deal for Wales focusing on cross cutting themes and a programme of action backed by an alliance of industry, agriculture, labour and environmentalists.

"The Labour Plaid Government in Wales is continuing the grandiose schemes and failed policies of the past. Support has been given to a proposal for a new nuclear power station on Ynys Mon, a military training academy at St Athan financed partly by a multinational arms manufacturer, a new M4 motorway around Newport, and open cast coal mining - all of which have huge negative social, environmental and economic impacts."
"A Green New Deal for Wales would support the building of truly sustainable communities with the creation of thousands of new green collar jobs. There would be a significant increase in funds to allow Wales to realise its full potential and be self sufficient in energy generated from renewable sources - every building would be transformed into a mini power station. The energy efficiency of our homes and businesses can and should be improved substantially so that Wales becomes a beacon of best practice and not an example of wastage. People should be encouraged to buy food, goods and services from local sources, not only providing local employment but also lowering societies overall carbon footprint. Increasing financial support would be given to local businesses whilst the reckless activities of city financiers and bankers would be regulated."

ENDS


For further information contact Jake Griffiths from the Wales Green Party on 07752754537 and cantongreens@hotmail.co.uk

[1] Jake Griffiths is 42, married with three daughters, and lives in Cardiff. He is a business environmental consultant working with businesses to improve their environmental performance. He was brought up in the Cardigan area in West Wales and has learnt to speak Welsh.

[2] The call for Green New Deal for Wales is based on work of the "Green New Deal Group" for the UK which has published details of a programme of actions needed to tackle the current economic and environmental crisis. See http://www.neweconomics.org/gen/greennewdealneededforuk210708.aspx

The "Green New Deal" report, was authored by a panel including Dr Caroline Lucas MEP, Co-director of Finance For The Future Colin Hines, SolarCentury boss Jeremy Leggett, Guardian Economic Editor Larry Elliot, and former Friends of the Earth chief Tony Juniper.






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