Top 10 books for a greener economy | Ann Pettifor

Top 10 books for a greener economy | Ann Pettifor

As we struggle with our devastating addiction to fossil fuels, these books think through some of the ways we can adopt a more sustainable way of life

For a year from 2007 to 2008, a group of British economists and environmentalists (including the Green MP Caroline Lucas, Larry Elliott of the Guardian and Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation) were pulled together by our convenor, Colin Hines. We met on a regular basis in my London flat and set out to draft a plan for the transformation of the global economy away from its addiction to fossil fuels. We called that plan the Green New Deal (GND) to echo the transformational financial and environmental policies of the 1933-45 Roosevelt administration in the US. It was based on the understanding that the economy and the ecosystem are tightly integrated – and that to protect the ecosystem we need to radically transform today’s rapacious capitalism.

By the time our report was published in 2008, Lehman Brothers had collapsed, and the financial crisis eclipsed our call for the Green New Deal. But in 2018 a group of US Justice Democrats visited Britain and held meetings with various groups aligned with Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign, including those of us who were members of the GND group. On their return to the US they encouraged Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to adopt the GND as the basis of her congressional campaign to challenge a powerful, sitting Wall Street Democrat in New York. Meanwhile, Labour for a Green New Deal was founded in the UK, and encouraged Corbyn to put bold climate policy at the heart of the party’s programme.

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