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Oxford’s Green New Deal Coronavirus Stimulus Report

A Richard Murphy

Well, yes, of course the Senior Lecturer is going to claim that he was right all along:

First they ignore you…then Oxford Univesity saus (sic) you were right all along

For a report from Oxford University – no, obviously, it’s not, it’s from some people at Oxford University – says that green stuff is the right way out of thisof this.

Green economy recovery packages for the coronavirus crisis will repair the global economy and put the world on track to tackle climate breakdown, but time is running out to implement the changes needed, new analysis has shown.

Projects which cut greenhouse gas emissions as well as stimulating economic growth deliver higher returns on government spending, in the short term and in the longer term, than conventional stimulus spending, the study from Oxford University found.

Well, OK, that might be useful if we faced a shortage of demand. Which isn’t quite what we do think we face, rather a supply shock which ain’t the same thing at all. Therefore judging reactions to Covid-19 by models which deal with demand shocks isn’t going to be all that useful.

Many of the projects that could create new jobs in the UK are “shovel-ready”, compliant with social distancing requirements and could be started quickly, said Cameron Hepburn, director of the Smith School of enterprise and the environment at Oxford University and lead author of the study.

He cited energy efficiency programmes to insulate the UK’s draughty housing stock, the building of electric vehicle charging networks, redesigning roads for more cycling, flood protection and planting trees.

Absolutely none of those are shovel ready. Some people have said they’re things they’d like to have done, true, even some people in government. But none of them do have planning permissions and the ability to go break ground next week which is what that shovel ready is supposed to mean.

Oh, and the insulation of the housing stock is largely already done. All that’s left is the stuff that’s going to be near impossible to do without complete rebuilds.

We might also note this interesting point. The lead author is Cameron Hepburn. The editor of the journal it appears in is:

Managing Editor
Cameron Hepburn

Bet the peer review on that one was a toughie. Oh, and ” Oxford Review of Economic Policy” from a university which doesn’t even teach an undergraduate economics degree. Hmm.

But the real failure here is the same mistake the Senior Lecturer and his friends in the Green New Deal make:

The Oxford study compared green stimulus projects with traditional stimulus, such as measures taken after the 2008 global financial crisis, and found green projects create more jobs,

Jobs are a cost of doing something, not a benefit. To claim that your plan produces more employment than alternatives is to tout the inefficiency of your proposals. Their very claim shows that their proposals are worse.


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Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
3 years ago

“climate breakdown”, that’s a new one and totally nonsensical.

And how can they have compared any Green stimulus projects with anything, since they don’t actually exist, except in the imagination?

George Herraghty
George Herraghty
3 years ago

A new documentary, “Planet of the Humans”, released free to the public on YouTube to mark the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, reveals that industrial wind farms, solar farms, biomass, and biofuels are ALL wrecking natural environments.
ALL so-called ‘Green energy’ schemes are in fact INCREASING CO2 emissions, plus the use of fossil fuels.
“Everywhere I encountered green energy, it wasn’t green energy”
Planet of the Humans Michael Moore

David Morris
David Morris
3 years ago

Inconvenient Truth….

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