Who inventend the “Green New Deal”?

Green New Deal groupI am currently working on a meta-study about the job potential of Green policies (or a Green New Deal) in these days of economic crisis. The study should be available in a few weeks – and any input about job estimates and scenario’s is highly appreciated. But while working on this I was wondering who actually termed the phrase of a “Green New Deal”?

From my (limited) EU/German/UK perspective I have so far seen the debate and terminology taking off at different places over the past year. The first essential contribution and to my knowledge also the first mentioning of the term is in Van Jones’ great book “The Green Collar Economy” which must have been out around spring 2008. In this book he devotes a specific chapter to his idea of a Green New Deal (for the US) considering a new partnership encompassing a wide variety of different social groups who would bring about economic change and a low-carbon economy.

In July 2008 the “Green New Deal Group around the UK new economics foundation has published their “Green New Deal” with concrete policy proposals to overcome (what they regard as) the “triple crunch of the credit crisis, climate change and high oil prices”. Even though their perspective has a stronger UK influence it is still the best read I have come across thanks to its concrete policy depth. [I am just realising that Colin Hines, of the co-authors of this study, has proposed a Green New Deal already in October 2007.]

Thirdly, in October 2008 the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has pushed for a Global Green Deal (s. Independent). This call is building up on an excellent study commissioned for UNEP in September which looks at the global job perspectives of a Green(er) economy.

Somewhere in the second half of 2008 the German Greens (on the initiative of Reinhard B├╝tikofer) and other Green Parties have taken over the notion and started to define their own policies under this name. Some Social Democratcs and the PES (probably based on the work done by ETUC) have also produced thoughts along the same lines but seem to be more reluctant to use the “Green” terminology. Somehow understable.

I would be very glad to hear if readers have any knowledge of earlier uses of the term and how it is used in their countries – and if there are concrete proposals or studies attached to it!

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