SCOTLAND should revolutionise global trading by replacing VAT with an environmental tax, introduce minimum pricing plans that reflect the true cost of products to the planet, ban single use plastics and develop world-leading environmental standards on exports, according to a Scottish think tank. Common Weal yesterday launched its blueprint for a new Scottish Green Deal, which put forward detailed proposals to address our environmental crisis. Common Home Plan aims to present a fully costed and large-scale plan for Scotland’s future. It suggests launching a national housing company, integrated district heating, radically reforming land ownership, upgrading the electricity grid and transitioning toward more sustainable farming and fishing methods. The report claims that it is time to rethink our addiction to polluting products. “If the goods we buy in the shops are made while pouring toxic effluent into the sea, we have poisoned our sea too,” it argues. “If we buy goods manufactured using energy from coal-fired power stations, we are poisoning our own atmosphere.” Robin McAlpine, director of Common Weal, said: “Trade is perhaps the most controversial part of the report but it shouldn’t be. Everyone in politics is terrified of taking on the hyper-consumer capitalism. They want to give us the belief that we can live in the future – as we do now, but with wind turbines – but that’s not true. Trade rules don’t currently recognise the harm that is done from the planet. At the moment we are geared up for an economy that says if someone wants to sell you plastic novelty goods it’s almost like some human right that you must be able to buy it and throw it away. It’s not a human right to be able to use asbestos so why do we insist we should be allowed to buy plastic and throw it in the bin?
The National 10th Nov 2019 read more »
‘End North Sea oil production in 25 years’ call as part of 170bn green plan. The Common Weal says oil and gas extraction should be phased out as part of a revolutionary £170 billion green new deal plan to be replaced by a raft of low carbon initiatives aimed at tackling climate change. In a newly published report, the Common Weal’s most costly suggestion in its Common Home Plan is a £50 billion scheme to build a low carbon district heating scheme, connected to every house on the gas grid where technically possible, and power it with large-scale renewable heat generation. District heating is the supply of heating and hot water to multiple buildings from a centralised generation source, through insulated underground pipes. This system is widely developed in the Nordic countries, but less so in the UK, and reduces the carbon emissions produced in supplying heat to homes. In what the influential think tank says is the world’s first comprehensive and costed proposal for how to implement a green new deal, it suggests taking all energy into public ownership, and move to the production of hydrogen, seen as a versatile fuel capable of powering everything from household appliances to transport to industrial processes. Hydrogen fuel has zero emissions when burned with oxygen. It can be used in fuel cells or internal combustion engines to power electric vehicles or electric devices. The Common Weal suggests spending £45 billion to replace all non-renewable electricity generation with the help of a national energy company, upgrade the grid and build low carbon electrolysis plants to produce 800,000 tonnes of hydrogen. When hydrogen is produced using renewable electricity, it is entirely emissions free. It also suggests creating a national housing company and spend £40bn to get every home in Scotland up to a thermal efficiency of 90 per cent, saving 40 per cent of heating bills. It is also suggesting the biggest overhaul of housing since the Second World War, with a plan to have greener Scottish homes by installing loft installation, double glazing and renewable technologies. That would involve setting up a national housing company and spend £40 billion to make every home in Scotland more thermally efficient, saving 40% off heating bills.
Herald 10th Nov 2019 read more »
Herald 10th Nov 2019 read more »