Ed Miliband: Let’s talk about the dream, not just the nightmare. Imagine the cities and towns of the future: clean, green, with decent air quality, hospitable to walking and cycling, powered by renewables, with green space, not concrete jungles, and rewarding jobs in green industries. That isn’t just a conceit for the imagination but a tangible vision of the future produced today by Common Wealth, the think-tank of which I am a board member. Tackling the climate and ecological crisis requires urgently reimagining how we live and work. A Green New Deal – conceived of in the UK, popularised by US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and now powered by social movements here – should not just decarbonise today’s economy but build the sustainable and just economy of tomorrow. That’s why imagining a town transformed by a just transition to a low-carbon future isn’t just a nice piece of design, it is an essential symbol of where the climate movement now needs to take its case. That movement has an unprecedented chance to be heard as a result of the spectacular success of Extinction Rebellion and the school climate strikes in refocusing public attention on the urgency of action. But now, with people listening once again, our duty is to offer a compelling and attractive vision of the future. The way we do this is by connecting the two great long-term crises that confront us today: the climate emergency and inequality. This is how we construct a broad and durable coalition that can sustain this unprecedented transformation. As well as truth-telling about the disaster that will confront us if we do not act, with the costs falling on those least responsible, ours must be a story of how we build a more equal, prosperous, democratic society.
Guardian 4th July 2019 read more »
Recently launched think tank Common Wealth has launched the first report in a new series it claims will set out a roadmap for delivering a Green New Deal across the UK. Arguing that only a plan to thoroughly restructure the economy along sustainable lines will avert climate catastrophe, Common Wealth said that over the course of the summer it will publish a “comprehensive road map” for a Green New Deal that will decarbonise the UK economy while creating a fairer, more inclusive society. It will include contributions from climate activists, policy experts and academics, setting out plans for decarbonising almost two dozen sectors or institutions in six main areas: finance, industry, infrastructure, government, international politics, and inequality. “The goal is simple but transformative: a deep and purposeful reorganisation of our economy so that it is democratic, sustainable, and equal by design,” Common Wealth said. “Driven by a step-change in public policy and investment, a UK Green New Deal can rescue our collective futures from climate catastrophe and create the conditions for universal human flourishing.” Common Wealth launched in April 2019 with a mission to design new ownership models for a more sustainable economy. The group was “warmly welcomed” by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. Former Labour leader Ed Miliband sits on its board.
Business Green 5th July 2019 read more »