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King calls for climate role at Bank of England

Professor_Sir_David_King.jpgBritain’s former chief scientific advisor under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown is calling for a climate scientist to be put on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England.

On the face of it, it may seem odd to put a climate scientist on a committee whose primary job is setting interest rates, but writing in Prospect, David King claims it is the only way to begin a meaningful conversion of the British economy towards green tech. Programmes to set carbon pricing and long-term incentives to put more renewables and nuclear on the grid could all be undone by monetary policies designed to increase GDP and productivity, he warns.

“We need to make sure that the Bank of England’s management of the economy is always done with an eye on the carbon implications, and vice versa,” King writes.

The Bank of England, the central monetary body of the United Kingdom, has set interest rates independently of the government since 1997. A labour economist already sits on the MPC, King says, so why not have a climate scientist as well?

“Unemployment is not a price worth paying for low inflation,” he adds. “Climate change isn’t either.”

Image: Smith School/Oxford

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