Last June the leaders of business, farming, Unions and the Voluntary sector got together to launch the “Green New Deal” for NI to regenerate our Economy.
The Confederation of British Industry N.I. pointed out that 10% of N.I. income is spent on foreign fossil fuels. They called for a construction program to “green” our building stock and to produce more local energy. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Ulster Farmers Union agreed and estimated that around 24,000 new jobs could be created plus huge spin-offs for the agricultural sector.
137,000 homes in N. Ireland fail to meet basic standards of comfort and warmth, some areas in NI have 39% of households suffering from fuel poverty – forcing people to choose between heating and eating. By making homes more energy efficient the Green New Deal can alleviate fuel poverty and cut peoples heating bills.
As of last Tuesday, none of the other main political parties have signed up to this vision offered by the people who actually run the NI economy.
Instead, I have a list of 42 Green Tech companies in Co. Down that have been seriously damaged or put out of business by the economically incompetent coalition of the SDLP, DUP, Sinn Fein and UUP who abandoned progressive policies bequeathed by Direct Rule Minister Hain, voting massive cut backs in the Renewable Energy sector leaving our burgeoning industry, employing up to 1300 people in Co. Down, struggling for a home market.
Aside from the small local firms, big Down Green-tech companies like Glen Dimplex, Kingspan Environmental or Thermomax have to export their production. NI alone in the EU refuses the supports needed to wean Northern Ireland off expensive imported fossil fuels and to grow our indigenous resources into the international Green Tech market worth £3000 billion per annum.