Thursday, March 17

For Every Green Job, Four Other are Lost (UK)

This report is quite interesting. I know quite a lot of politicians are very interested in riding the green stuff gravy train, but what’s the cost? As it so happens, and I quote:

A new study called “Worth The Candle?” by the consulting firm Verso Economics confirms the experience of Spain and other countries: The creation of “green” jobs destroys other jobs through the diversion of resources and the denial of abundant sources of fossil fuel energy. The Verso study finds that after the annual diversion of some 330 million British pounds from the rest of the U.K. economy, the result has been the destruction of 3.7 jobs for every “green” job created. The study concludes that the “policy to promote renewable energy in the U.K. has an opportunity cost of 10,000 direct jobs in 2009-10 and 1,200 jobs in Scotland.” “The Scottish renewable sector is very reliant on subsidies from the rest of the U.K.,” co-author Tom Miers adds. “Without the U.K.-wide framework, it would be very difficult to sustain the main policy tolls to promote this industry.”

Now this is a big question mark and has political implications as well. What is the cost? And my thoughts about subsidies are clear, we need to avoid subsidies as much as possible because subsidies are regressive by their very nature. Since they come out of general taxation, they end up penalising the poor much more. Anyway, besides this issue, what about the time when the Scots will have more economic independence? Then will the Scots subsidise this level of job creation which actually destroys more jobs than it creates? Much to think about.

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