Barack Obama and Ban Ki Moon, Labour and the Conservatives, green groups and trade unionists, Nicholas Stern and even Peter Mandelson - everybody is talking about a 'Green New Deal'. Faced with an economic downturn, climate breakdown and an energy system in need of billions of new investment anyway, the idea is simple and attractive.
History will remember 2008 for its ‘crisis of capitalism’. The crash on Wall Street was the game-changer in the US election race, and it could soon be remembered as the gamechanger on climate change, too.
It provoked an absolute storm. CNN’s ticker screamed that Britain was ‘under siege’ from environmental activists. Sky News dubbed it ‘the world’s most organised protest’ and the New Statesman ‘the most important protest of our time’
As an excuse to do nothing itself, this Labour Government has often hidden behind US intransigence on climate change, so it’ll be interesting to see how Gordon Brown might respond to a US President more progressive than he on global warming.