Molly Scott Cato: The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has pledged to use “every lever of government possible” to tackle climate change. And his latest idea is to go after the big players on the London Stock Exchange, warning that UK companies failing to act to reduce carbon emissions will be delisted. As a green economist, radical steps to address the economic drivers of our various environmental crises have been my bread and butter for years. So I welcome Labour’s newfound commitment to get serious on climate change, though its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 can hardly be seen as treating the problem as an emergency. Greens believe we must reach net zero carbon by 2030 and that such a target is achievable. And let’s face it, Labour’s gear change is going to be anything but smooth given the inconsistencies in its policies. Perhaps given Labour’s fence-sitting on Europe, McDonnell has failed to notice the far more effective moves taking place in the EU, in particular the evolving sustainable finance agenda. This is something I have led on personally in the European parliament. It aims to use various levers to direct financial investments away from fossil industries and dirty businesses towards clean, green industries. Not just those listed on the London Stock Exchange but businesses throughout the EU.
Guardian 12th May 2019 read more »