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Report proposes reclaiming quantitative easing for common good

Published: 18 June 2015 at 09:37

After G7 leaders agreed a transition away from a fossil fuel economy, Professor Victor Anderson, visiting professor at the Global Sustainability Institute, produced a report showing how 'green money' can help Europe move towards a sustainable economy.

The report, produced for Green MEP Molly Scott Cato and launched on 17 June 2015 in the European Parliament in Brussels, argues for a policy of 'green quantitative easing' (green QE).

Green QE works in a similar way to conventional QE and is seen as a practical plan to address the twin crises of climate destabilisation and the after-effects of the 2008 financial crisis.

QE is a mechanism where a central bank creates new money to pump into the economy. The difference here is that the money created is used specifically to boost the green sectors of the economy with the aim of building a more stable, secure, and prosperous Europe.

Professor Anderson of Anglia Ruskin University's Global Sustainability Institute, the report's author, said:

"The industrial revolution brought in an economy based on fossil fuels. Now the climate crisis is forcing us to move on again.

"As well as damaging the environment, fossil fuel companies have also become a risk to financial stability. As action to combat climate change spreads, the value of fossil fuel investments will fall. This is a threat not only to those companies but also to the pension funds, insurance companies and other organisations which have shares in them.

"The Bank of England has a duty to play its part in helping the shift towards a greener economy no longer dependent on dirty sources of energy.

"EU governments should be urgently examining every type of policy that could be used to help in this low-carbon green revolution. Green quantitative easing deserves to be near the top of their action list."

Molly Scott Cato MEP said:

"Quantitative easing to date has simply further benefited wealthy elites. But QE is just a technique to create money and we need to reclaim it for the common good.

"We need the money we create to be invested in a future we want to see. So, for example, we need to invest in energy from safe, clean renewable sources and provide safe clean homes for all the citizens of our continent.

"This public investment will create jobs for the thousands of unemployed across our continent while simultaneously building up our green infrastructure."

Speakers at the report's launch include Miguel Gil-Tertre, from the cabinet of Jyrki Katainen, the European Commissioner responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. You can download the full report below.

Green money: reclaiming quantitative easing