Green Party leader calls for robust thinking on resource efficiency

Newly elected Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has highlighted the UK's resource efficiency agenda as being essential in unlocking future economic growth and delivering social prosperity.

In an exclusive interview with edie, Bennett spoke of the importance of building a robust evidence base before drawing up policies around resource issues such as waste, water and energy conservation.

In terms of government direction, she said business and industry were in dire need of a “stable secure environment” to encourage investor confidence and drive green growth.

Referring to the Coalition’s widely criticised U-turn on feed-in tariffs earlier this year, she said: “It truly is terrifying the level of incompetence this government has shown in terms of its inability to make decisions in a sensible way and stick to them.”

Bennett said one of the Green Party’s long-term aims was to develop localised economies and inspire more homegrown manufacturing – this, she said, would result in wider benefits to society as a whole.

“If our production of utility services and consumer goods became more localised then that will strengthen communities,” she argued.

A strong supporter of circular economy thinking, Bennett said introducing ‘resource taxes’ and broadening the feed-in tariff system to encourage greater uptake of renewables would be some of measures the party would be willing to consider to drive this forward.

“We have to recognise there is not just an environmental cost, but an economic cost, everytime we use a single use item … the cost rebounds across the whole of society,” she maintained.

Also critical of Britain’s long working hours culture – “something our party would address” – Bennett said that busier working lives have contributed to an increasing reliance on convenience foods and a disposable throwaway culture.

The full interview with Natalie Bennett can be read here 

Maxine Perella

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