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Colin Hines is the convenor of the Green New Deal group consisting of finance, tax, energy and environmental experts that he brought together in 2007. In July 2008, a few weeks before the Lehman Brothers crash they published their first report A Green New Deal: joined up policies to solve the triple crunch of the credit crisis, climate change and high oil prices. In September 2013 they published A National Plan for the UK – From Austerity to the Age of the Green New Deal, which detailed a £50 billion a year green infrastructure programme and how to fund it via ‘Green Quantitative Easing’ and a clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion. This would make every building in the country energy efficient, and build hundreds of thousands of new, affordable and energy-efficient homes. Such a huge programme would provide a massive boost in economic activity, but in a way which provides jobs on a living wage in every community in the UK, whilst reducing its environmental impact.
In early 2014 his new book Progressive Protectionism will be published.[needs update] This details why ever more open borders are increasing inequality, reducing economic activity and threatening the environment. It explains how countries could rebuild and rediversify their economies by limiting what finance, goods and people they allow to enter their borders, and in the process wean themselves off export dependence. Domestic businesses and funding sources would then meet the needs of the majority in society in all countries. The prospect of such increasing economic security for the majority could gain widespread political support ranging from those on the left, the centre, the greens through to small ‘c’ conservatives.
He is author of the book Localization- A Global Manifesto (Earthscan) and helped form Localise West Midlands which is putting localisation into practise on the ground. Localization would ensure that all goods, finance and services that can reasonably be provided locally should be. Depending on the context, the ‘local’ is predominantly defined as part of the nation state, although it can be the nation state itself or occasionally a regional grouping of nation states.
Before that he was the Co-ordinator of Greenpeace International's Economics Unit having worked for the organisation for 10 years. He has worked in the environmental movement for over 30 years on the issues of population, food, new technology and unemployment, nuclear proliferation. Most recently he has focused on the adverse environmental and social effects of international trade and the need to solve these problems by replacing globalisation with localization.