Going beyond ‘The Green Transformation’

Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the Labour Party has taken significant steps away from the soft-neoliberalism of Tony Blair, towards a more interventionist economic strategy, aiming to boost  productivity, redistribute wealth and power from the rich to the poor and tackle the great problems of the 21st century, writes Andrea Grainger

Chief among those problems is climate change and other forms of ecological devastation. During this year’s Labour conference the party released a new paper; The Green Transformation [1], laying out Labour’s solutions for these problems.

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Planning for a Just Transition

Photo: Takver

The Labour Party’s consultation document, A Greener Britain, seeks proposals about different aspects of environmental policy. In this series of articles, Redgreenlabour supporters offer their thoughts. Please comment on these contributions which the authors may well revise and submit to the consultation in due course. We also urge you to submit your own responses to the Party – whether as individuals or through your branches, CLPs, unions, SERA or other environmental groups. The deadline is 24th June.

Question #5; ‘How can jobs be created and existing skills and workforces maintained in a future low-carbon economy?’

The transition to a sustainable economy will require many people to change their occupation. In Britain, many unions have been reluctant to take serious environmental action for fear that rapid change in employment would mean job losses, writes Andrea Grainger. Many remember Thatcher’s efforts to shut the pits which resulted in huge unemployment and the devastation of mining communities. Job losses however are not a natural consequence of the transition to a sustainable economy, but rather the result of poor planning, disrespect of working people, and overconfidence in trickle-down economics. A Just transition is possible.

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Economic growth, sustainability and degrowth

Photo: John Perivolaris – After Monet – near Giverny

It has become standard in modern society to expect that each year will see us consume more resources than the last. Since the 1940s the consumption of each nation on earth has been measured, and termed GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, writes Andrea Grainger. Not only is growth assumed in modern society, but also rapid growth. In Britain many economists say that an annual GDP growth of around 3% is ‘good’, 2% is ‘poor’ and 1% is ‘dreadful’. In effect an annual growth rate of 3% means doubling our rate of consumption every 23 years, so that by 2041 we will be consuming twice what we do today, by 2064 four times as much, and by 2087 eight times more.

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