Climate Change

To Secure a Future, Britain Needs a Green New Deal

This is an extract from a chapter in Economics For the Many (Verso, 2018) edited by Rt. Hon. John McDonnell MP. The chapter was written in August, 2017. 

If we are to secure a sustainable, stable and liveable future for the people of Britain, then implementation of the Green New Deal will be vital. Not just for the sake of the ecosystem, but also for the sake of rebuilding a stable, sustainable economy. A sustainable economy will be one dominated by a “Carbon Army’ of skilled, well-paid workers.

10 years after: Neoliberalism - the Break-Up Tour

Neoliberalism’s finance-driven model, beset by rising crises since the 1970s, properly derailed in the crash of 2007 – 08. Then, the greatest exponent, Alan Greenspan, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, had a brief moment of enlightenment and appeared to renounce his faith in the invisible hand of self-interest, saying he’d, ‘discovered a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works.’ Private finance was revealed as a froth that sat on the foundations of public guarantee. I tell this story and the tale of alternatives in a new collaboration with the playwright, Sarah Woods, in Neoliberalism - the Break-Up Tour.

Imagine the fate of a global climate treaty without the EU

In 1972 the law was passed that allowed the UK to join what was then called the European Economic Community (EEC). Despite Europe’s current crises, its unchanging, fundamental challenge was expressed that year by Sicco Mansholt, then president of the European Commission, probably better than by any of the current voices in the referendum campaign, whether for or against UK remaining in.

“Will the EEC become a powerful agent for improving living standards and opportunity in solidarity with less fortunate countries?” asked Mansholt, 

“Or will it remain a select inward-looking club of some of the world’s richest nations? Will it continue to produce ‘bigger, faster and more’ for ‘some’ to the detriment of the global environment and the welfare of the ‘rest’?”

2015: Economics, Energy and Climate Change

In this contribution to "Cracks Begin to show: a Review of the UK Economy in 2015", published by Economists for Rational Economic Policies, Andrew Simms argues that while the politics and economics of energy and climate change dominated the year, nowhere are the full implications for economies being appreciated.

Indeed, cuts to clean energy incentives were justified by the government, in a year when the Chancellor announced new fossil fuel subsidies, and a new legal obligation for the maximum use of North Sea oil and gas. As 2016 looks set to be hotter still than 2015, our greatest challenge will be to learn how to flourish within planetary boundaries. In rich countries like the UK we need to replace consumption-led growth with a new kind of materialism that respects and cares for the material world, with better distribution and a more creative approach to the art of living.

Paris talks make the climate clock tick loudly but it never stops

The climate clock may tick loudly when world leaders turn their gaze in its direction, but it never stops. This series of articles about what’s happening in our warming world, which has seen attention to the issue come and go as the time for meaningful action to avert uncontrollable climate change slips away, now has one year to go.

It was never meant as the kind of countdown to a bomb exploding seen in Bond films. Sometimes it’s been mischievously misrepresented to score points. We’ll still be here in 12 months’ time and, if nothing changes, the only explosion will be a slow motion one of emissions. Drawing safety lines in the atmosphere’s concentration of greenhouse gases is all about how much risk you are prepared to tolerate.

Macroeconomics, Climate Change and Consumption

 Almost all necessities are high carbon, while most ‘luxuries’ emit lower than average GHGs. What are the policy implications?

It will not be possible for the rich world to combat climate change, writes Ian Gough in a new PRIME e-publication, without also addressing its consumption.

Macroeconomic policy should be evaluated, he says, and devised according to sustainability criteria alongside economic and social criteria.

Out of thin air - the economic case for a 3rd Heathrow runway

When I last travelled directly to Guangzhou, by China Southern Airline out of Heathrow, the flight was nearly full. But not – by visual impression at least – full of thrusting British entrepreneurs keen to visit the most vibrant economic region of China, thanks to this direct link from Britain’s hub airport. More like ordinary Chinese workers and some visitors. Increasing trade is a more complex issue by far.

‘Green QE’ is possible – says the governor of the Bank of England

In response to a letter from MP Caroline Lucas, Bank of England governor Mark Carney hinted in the Financial times today that the Bank of England could potentially invest in a programme of ‘Green Quantitative Easing’. The idea of ‘Green QE’ is that the Bank of England would – with the agreement of the government - buy bonds from e.g. the Green Investment Bank, which could then use the financing to subsidise low carbon projects.

Today’s Budget and the crisis in Ukraine

In response to a letter from MP Caroline Lucas, Bank of England governor Mark Carney hinted in the Financial times today that the Bank of England could potentially invest in a programme of ‘Green Quantitative Easing’. The idea of ‘Green QE’ is that the Bank of England would – with the agreement of the government - buy bonds from e.g. the Green Investment Bank, which could then use the financing to subsidise low carbon projects.

A National Plan for the UK - from Austerity to the Green New Deal

Ann Pettifor is a member of the Green New Deal Group, which today, 8th September, 2013 published its fifth anniversary edition - a National Plan for the UK. The first report was published in July, 2008, before the collapse of Lehman's and was (in our humble view) far-sighted in its analysis and recommendations.

This is Plan B - the New Statesman

The New Statesman has included a contribution from Ann Pettifor this week’s edition. The cover of the magazine declares: “Austerity has failed. Inside nine of the world’s top economists tell the Chancellor how to save Britain. This is Plan B.” The following is Ann's unedited version...

Financing the Green Economy Transition

Written as part of work with Sir David King and the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment: “We are capable of shutting off the sun and the stars because they do not pay a dividend. London is one of the richest cities in the history of civilization, but it cannot "afford" the highest standards of achievement of which its own living citizens are capable, because they do not "pay."