Green the Treasury

Green the Treasury

The Treasury must replace its narrow focus on financial sustainability with support for a Green New Deal.

Trust in government has decayed, and the Treasury’s own commitment to flawed metrics and a narrow focus on financial sustainability has contributed to this. The Green New Deal could be the opportunity to restore lost faith in government. The Treasury must take a lead in its delivery.

Measures include:

  • The Treasury should adopt a new departmental plan that includes a definition of sustainability in line with the objective of decarbonising the economy in a just and equitable fashion, and reducing the environmental impact of economic activity more generally.
  • The Treasury and Bank of England should agree a charter at the earliest possible opportunity, specifying the shared objectives of government policy in the context of a ten year programme to implement a Green New Deal.
  • The Treasury should add the economic risks from climate change and wider environmental degradation to its departmental risk register, and maintain an ongoing assessment of future risks
  • Treasury and other economics-focused ministries must seek to develop a deeper capacity in environmental and ecological economics, promoting pluralism in modelling, and actively seeking to recruit, train, and develop capacity in-house. The Government Economics Service Fast Stream and other recruitment and professional development programmes should be widened to cope.
  • Guidance for investment in projects in the Green Book – the Treasury’s guide to spending decisions – must be redrafted in light of the need to meet tight decarbonisation and other targets, requiring a broader assessment of social and environmental impacts.