Environmental Who’s Who at Lyons

It will be interesting to hear in particular what Jonathan Porritt says. This might be the opening salvo in a difficult debate about the contradications of economic growth and sustainability, in an ‘Age of Austerity’.

Put another way, if cuts reduce jobs and economic activity, it will reduce economic growth and therefore carbon emissions.  Will a vocal minority in the wider environmental movement be pleased with this result? This movement is very wide in terms of its  affiliation. We should not pretend it speaks with one voice.

Others also want carbon emissions to fall but want it done in a logical manner where jobs are protected, new ones created and a new low-carbon economy intiated  and where the majority of Europe do not have pay for this transition unfairly.

We don’t want an environmental equivalent of the budget cuts where the culprits get away scott free while the citizens pay to rescue them.

And there is the question of short-term to long term.

We will need to continue articulating our vision that we can fight the cuts to public services, while demanding investment in a low-carbon transformation. A modern day Lucas Aerospace idea where jobs are saved…… swords turned to ploughshares…

In the short-term, we have to demand government spending…. a form of Green Keynesianism if you like to protect livelihoods but ensure this is directed, state-led investment in green sectors…. alongside a parallel restructuring of the banking system (by which we don’t mean the sham new regulations coming out of Brussels or London).

Crucially, we will not convince people of the seriousness of climate change if we don’t offer them a better future. If we want to take on the capitalist system, then it means taking on the big guns over inequality, income & wealth distribution and a non-imperial foreign policy.

Click above for a report in the Independent.

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