Playing To Our Strengths: The Green Party’s plans for sustainable recovery and job creation.

Government & Politics

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PLAYING TO OUR TRENGTHS S The Green Party’s plans for sustainable recovery and job creation. RENEWING IRELAND ON FEB 25TH VOTE GREEN “We cannot afford the politics of irresponsible profligacy or mindless austerity. We need ‘pay as you go progressives’ who combine fiscal prudence with growth initiatives to make their country great again” – Thomas Friedman THE RECOVERY WILL BE GREEN As oil increases in price and the world edges closer to a binding agreement on climate change,
    PLAYING TO OUR STRENGTHS The Green Party’s plans for sustainablerecovery and job creation. RENEWINGIRELANDON FEB 25TH VOTE GREEN  “We cannot afford the politics of irresponsible profligacy or mindless austerity. We need‘pay as you go progressives’ who combine fiscal prudence with growth initiatives tomake their country great again” – Thomas Friedman THE RECOVERY WILL BE GREEN As oil increases in price and the world edges closer to a binding agreement on climatechange, one thing is certain – the drive towards alternative and clean sources of power will define the 21 st century.Another certainty for the future is the role the evolving internet will play in reimaginingour economy and society.Ireland needs to adapt to thrive. The country that recognises that the growth and tradingopportunities will come from green and digital technologies will be the country withsustainable economic growth. Both are high-tech and low-carbon making them the idealsectors for Ireland’s new economy.The new world order will involve a competitive race between East and West for jobs indigital and clean technology. Ireland, ideally located between East and West, has acomparative advantage in renewable resources and a young educated population adeptand comfortable with new technologies. Years of investment in R&D is now beginning tobear fruit as our universities commercialise their innovations. The Green Party hadidentified the global trends and Ireland’s opportunity therein upon entering Governmentand began the implementation. IN GOVERNMENT Over the past 3 years in Government the Green Party led Ireland’s move towardsrenewable energy and energy efficiency. Doubling the wind on our system, initiating anational insulation programme, prioritising ocean energy and initiating smart meter andelectric vehicles programmes have transformed energy policy and brought thousands of  jobs.On the digital front, 99% of the country now has access to broadband. Since enteringGovernment 1 million new people are broadband subscribers. Speeds have doubled andcosts reduced. Project Kelvin connected Ireland via subsea cables to the USA. TheGovernment invested in Irish technology to break the bottlenecks in the transfer of internet data and overall we are 3 years ahead of EU targets.Green Party policies in Government have directly led to the creation of over 20,000 jobsin Ireland*verified by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland  THE FUTURE – PLAYING TO OUR STRENGTHS Like any country, the productive base of our economy will be founded on our naturalresources. TK Whitaker’s first plan for Economic Expansion identified our climate andour soil as providing excellent growing conditions and organised much of our economyaround that natural resource. What are today’s equivalents?We have two great resources – our land and our people. Our land based naturalresources are renewable energy, our forests and our fields and our landscape. Our human resources mean we have a competitive advantage in traded creative industries,high-tech manufacturing and international financial services. We will play to our strengths, selling to ourselves and the rest of the world what we do best. The GreenParty’s vision is to harness these resources in a co-ordinated national plan to stimulatedomestic demand and increase our international exports.Playing to our strengths will kick-start the domestic economy and grow our exportcapability generating the new jobs in our new sustainable economy. This is a carefullydirected stimulus; we direct investment where we know there will be the greatest rate of return.We have a proven track record having delivered of 20,000 jobs in the past 3 years in themidst of a recession. There are green shoots and we can help them grow. ACTION POINTS FOR FUTURE GROWTHGreen energy1. Invest an additional  € 500 million from the National Pension Reserve Fundin the new model National Retrofit Scheme, which would upgrade 100,000buildings a year until 2020 -   Direct jobs: 25,000  2. Build 2 gigawatts of electricity interconnection to the UK and Franceconnecting our wind and marine resources to a European grid, allowingIreland to become an energy exporter 3. Plant 15,000 hectares of forestry per annum -   Direct jobs: 5,000  Food4. Task Bord Bia with the creation of “Ireland – the Green Island” brandTourism5. Introduce Green Star rating system for eco-tourism in Ireland  Digital6. Expand the ultra-fast laser broadband network – the Exemplar networkfrom Park West, to a metropolitan ring around Dublin and subsequentlyusing the HEA network to a national network. -   Direct jobs 5,000  7.  € 70 million investment in the Web Activate programme, which providestraining for the unemployed in digital skills who then work with smallbusiness to get them trading online -   Direct jobs: 20,000  8. Open access to public data to private sector 9. Transfer all Government and public services to the cloud, develop Irelandas the cloud computing capital of Europe and devise a national greenstandard for data centres – Direct jobs: 28,000   10. Establish an International Content Services Centre for the trading of digitalcontent- Direct jobs: 10,000   Manufacturing11. Abolish Forfás and redirect the savings into EI and IDA grantsFinancial services12. Create the Green IFSC for green financial services -   Direct jobs: 7,000    Implementing the Green Party’s economic vision would see employment of over 100,000people over the next 10 years. Note: Jobs estimates are only used where the figure has been provided by a reputablesource. These can be found throughout the document. Where no verifiable figure could be found, estimates were omitted. We use only direct jobs though most will havesignificant downstream employment. Equally, where job estimates were higher fromother sources we used the lower.
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