Green Policy in the Debt Crisis

Rather than spelling disaster for environmental funding, the current debt crisis could provide an opportunity to create a win-win scenario for the environment and economic recovery – that was the message from an Aldersgate Group panel debate in December last year, attended by the BES Policy Team and summarised in a debate report published today.

On the panel were; Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment, Sir John Harman, Director of the Aldersgate Group, Paul Ekins, Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy at University College London, and David Baldock, Director at the Institute of European Environmental Policy.

The speakers agreed that at a time when businesses critically need to minimise costs, measures to improve resource efficiency and reduce waste could give them a significant competitive edge. However, there was consensus that barriers such as a lack of long-term policy coherence and the lock-in of existing infrastructure will need to be addressed in order to pursue this opportunity for green economic recovery, and that Governments will need to demonstrate increased investment in research and development and measures such as the reform of environmentally perverse subsidies.