Britain as the world’s decarbonisation designers?

If the UK invented democracy and the internet, couldn’t it also invent a low carbon economy of smart ideas to tackle global climate change?

A zero carbon Britain by 2050 is a goal we must meet. Yet, in the race to the most unpredictable election in decades, it’s hardly hot news.

Is it because the politicians suspect that that voters aren’t really switched on about CO2 emissions, despite recent news that the extent of Arctic sea ice has hit a record low?   Does Cameron really think it is just “green crap”? 

Our political leaders could sell the green agenda harder. They could nudge us to link the zero-carbon vision with a mission to create new jobs, put cash in pocket, and be seen globally as the world’s decarb-designers.

Labour is calling for Britain to create a million new high-tech, green jobs by 2025 and suggests new renewable energy sites built and equipped by British firms. 

That’s a start and here’s seven more fields for innovation-rich job creation:

  1. Marine energy power with a new network of undersea direct current cables
  2. Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle development, starting with a new national recharging network
  3. Taller wind turbines to exploit stronger winds at higher altitudes, following the Swedish and German examples
  4. Low carbon homes with tax-breaks for approved energy efficiency improvements
  5. Recognition for energy-efficient breakthroughs in public and commercial buildings
  6. Sustainable second generation biofuels pushed through a renewable transport fuel obligation
  7. The refuelling of planes mid-air and even passengers delivered to planes in mid-air, to allow non-stop flights from the UK to Australia and cut fuel consumption

It is rumoured that, if the Conservatives are re-elected, they will fold the struggling Department of Energy and Climate Change into the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, where staff have more commercial experience.    

If it supports a new decarb-designer economy, it could do something useful.