Lessons from Lockdown from the Rapid Transition Alliance

For several months the Rapid Transition Alliance, co-founded by Green New Deal Group member Andrew Simms asked people to share their experiences of lockdown and see what lessons people might have for bringing about a rapid transition, and living happier, more caring and less polluting lives. The Rapid Transition Alliance received an inspiring, hugely varied collection of personal stories, insights and reflections. They have organised the lessons around three big themes: how we can look after each other better as societies, how more space for people and nature can be found, and how those who already have enough can thrive with less ‘stuff’.

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Converting industry – how rapid transition happens in crises and upheavals

Several other times have revealed the ability for rapid industrial conversion, not just to tackle tragic but transient challenges, but long-term economic and geo-political shifts. What are the lessons about industrial conversion for the long term, rapid transition to a low carbon economy, not just from the pandemic response, but also ranging from conflict to the end of the Cold War? asks Green New Deal group member Andrew Simms on the Rapid Transition Alliance blog.

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Time for a genuinely civil, civil contingencies response

We know that strong and informed leadership is essential in disaster response. But we also know that local community response, both formal and informal, is the key to protection and recovery. Whether it is a small island state in the South Pacific recovering from a cyclone strike, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, or an inner city neighbourhood rebuilding after a fire atrocity, local communities invariably are the primary responders to disaster. It’s a dynamic recorded by author Rebecca Solnit in her book ‘A Paradise Built in Hell’, which looks at a wide range of historic and contemporary disasters. The degree to which communities succeed reflects how the quality of local relationships, the strength of local economies, the agency, resources and capacities of local people have been enabled to thrive or suppressed.

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A plan to survive the economic crisis

Writing for his Tax Research blog, Green New Deal member Richard Murphy sets out a plan for the economic crisis triggered by coronavirus. The draft plan includes measures to safeguard those whose employment has been affected or who are suffering hardship including the cancellation of tax payments to government, legislation to freeze repayments of a range of loans, the cancellation of rent obligations and the nationalisation of utilities. Then, when the immediate crisis has passed – Richard proposes the creation of new commissions to explore a range of areas including the restructuring of the economy, land ownership, work and the transition to a post carbon economy.

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The Green Bridge: From Tackling Coronavirus to Tackling Climate Change

Writing for Brave New Europe, Green New Deal Group member Colin Hines makes the case for medium term efforts to tackle coronavirus to act as a ‘green bridge’ for tackling climate change.

“Of course the key question is how can these medium term efforts to deal with the coronavirus be built on and turned into a permanent green bridge towards tackling climate change. The key in the view of the IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol, is for governments to use green investments to help counter the global slowdown. He said “We have an important window of opportunity. Major economies around the world are preparing stimulus packages. A well designed stimulus package could offer economic benefits and facilitate a turnover of energy capital which have huge benefits for the clean energy transition.””

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Cross-party letter urges Chancellor to use budget to show climate leadership ahead of UN climate summit

A cross-party letter, signed by MPs and peers from the Green Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, the SNP and Plaid Cymru, urges the Chancellor to address the climate, ecological and social crises by investing in a Green New Deal, in order to transform almost every aspect of our economy and society. Such a programme of investment, the letter points out, would also fulfil government promises to ‘level up’ the nation.

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