Colin Hines had this letter in the Financial Times on 4 May 2019:

Your editorial “Enter the age of activism on climate change”, April 27) correctly welcomes the passing of the intergenerational baton from Sir David Attenborough to Greta Thunberg. However, to result in public support for the massive systemic change both assert is crucial, the often uncomfortable personal lifestyle changes needed must be clearly seen to be part of a diverse and popular programme. This must be one that addresses the social, economic and climate insecurity increasingly felt by the majority.

It would involve dramatically increasing the funding of employment in face to face jobs that address the worries of people of all ages, such as inadequate health, education and housing to care for the elderly. Also crucial would be an enormous nationwide green infrastructure programme ensuring the rapid decarbonisation of energy, transport, resource use and food production. This must also be couched in terms of being a massive local job generator and one that provides huge business and investment opportunities.

The political advantage of this twin approach is that it would be seen by voters to be beneficial to every constituency, and as such should appeal to all political parties. Only this will ensure that the urgent demands of both Sir David Attenborough and Ms Thunberg can be more swiftly met.

Colin Hines Convenor, UK Green New Deal Group, East Twickenham, Middlesex, UK

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