Ed Davey’s approach to green issues: they make for better growth

Edward Davey - photo copyright John Russell - johnrussell.zenfolio.com

Ed Davey’s choice of words when presenting a political case is always worth close attention as he is a man very interested in the details and nuances of political messaging. (He was for a while under Ming Campbell’s leadership in charge of refashioning the party’s messaging.)

So what to make of his initial description of his role in charge at the Department of Environment and Climate Change? He said,

Greening the economy isn’t just good for the planet – it’s good for the wallets, purses and pockets.

In choosing to present issues in that way, he’s very much following in the footsteps of Chris Huhne. It is not so much a deep green message that is against economic growth, as a lighter shade of green, saying environmental action is good for economic growth.

It’s a broad tent approach – pitching green measures not just at those deeply concerned about the environment but also at those who are much more concerned about other issues – such as jobs and income.

That’s a wise approach, because long-term policies with long-term objectives require a broad consensus not only amongst politicians but also amongst the public. That requires pitching to the wider audience in just the way he is doing.

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