News

Investing in jobs and climate is key

In a letter to the Guardian, Green New Deal Group members Richard Murphy and Colin Hines argue that the government’s covid recovery plan should help fund the employment of the millions of increased staff needed across all social sectors, from more care and health workers to teachers and police, while also funding investment in new climate-friendly infrastructure projects, such as making the UK’s 30m buildings carbon neutral and adapting existing infrastructure to deal with future heatwaves and flooding.

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Green shoots: the best books to inspire hope for the planet

Writing for the Guardian, Green New Deal group member Ann Pettifor suggests books that offer hope for the future and the Green New Deal. Just as in our time, the US in 1933 was confronted by an ecological disaster: the dust bowl. It’s an environmental tragedy central to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, written while the author benefited from a New Deal federal arts grant. Neil M Maher’s 2007 Nature’s New Deal tells the forgotten history of the New Deal’s attempt to green the American south. There was much that was downright wrong about Roosevelt’s racial and gender-segregated Civilian Conservation Corps. But Nature’s New Deal shows how we can chart a path out of the current crisis that leads to a future in which we can all flourish.

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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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