In the fall of 2007, as the financial crisis began brewing, Greenpeace's Colin Hines gathered a group of economists and environmentalists (including The Green Party's Caroline Lucas). They met monthly, for years, in the London flat of Ann Pettifor, collaborating to create a radical plan that would address the social, economic and environmental injustice created by the global economic system.

Their inspiration came from Roosevelt's 'New Deal', created in response to the Great Depression in 'America' during the 1930s.  Both Roosevelt's 'New Deal' and The Greens' 'Green New Deal' were rooted in the idea that austerity is not a solution to the disparity, as it only deepens the issues created. Instead, both 'deals' concentrate on investing in those suffering most, and in tandem, investing in industries and projects which work to heal the roots of the problems that allowed for the economic crash(es), and injustices, in the first place. 

Though it has been over a decade since the 'Green New Deal' was created - and it has been co-opted by political parties worldwide, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise Movement - it still has not been put into place in any country. As those in power fight hold on to the false economy known on GDP ... the economic system which has led to over 145 banking crashes and 208 monetary crises since 1970.

THE IMPACT OF GDP AND HOW ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DRIVES CLIMATE CHANGE
What is important to understand about GDP (gross domestic product), is that it can only be 'abundant' if we are all in a state of constant consumption. And because all the products we consume are created with ingredients from the earth, we're taking more than she can offer. In addition to taking more than she can offer, we are giving nothing back in return, which makes GDP also responsible for climate chaos. 

The Green New Deal is essentially a road map away from our reliance on consumption and on fossil fuels. It is essentially a web of interdependent solutions which can be used to guide a fair transition towards a new economy, covering energy, housing, transport, education, healthcare, equality, economy, food, and systems change. Each facet is meant to be customized by each unique community, and each industry, to make sure there is a 'just transition', essentially a fair transition that allows every voice to be heard and changes to be created by those working and living in an industry or a place.

WHAT DOES THE GREEN NEW DEAL OFFER?
It offers a tangible change in the way we live, particularly enhancing the lives of the most vulnerable. The Green New Deal will create abundant housing, powered by energy that is cheaper because it comes from renewables. It means everyone having access to nutritious whole foods, it enhances education and equality, it offers universal basic income so no one is without the funds to support themselves. The Green New Deal means better healthcare, social care and support, stronger communities, thriving local businesses, and more. Essentially, it offers us all the opportunity to create a society and systems which create a safer, fairer future for everyone.⁣

In 2020 the World Economic Forum ranked climate change as the biggest risk to economy and society. It is our responsibility as citizens of this world to take politics seriously and push as many of the existing plans available into action. For us to ensure the future of our species and all life on this planet, we need to work together on both sides of the political spectrum, continuing to respond to crisis with collective action, with one foot in grassroots action, and the other in our local, then national, then global politics.

To simplify The Green New Deal into a digestible length, I worked some of its main policies into a G.R.E.E.N.S acronym to make them easy to remember.⁣
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G
GREEN NEW DEAL 
The Green New Deal is a comprehensive 10-year plan which aims to deliver fast and fair transformation of economy and society, providing abundance to everyone equally while progressively protecting the living planet from the grips of human gluttony and greed. 

This means making Ecocide Law, instating a carbon chancellor, introducing a carbon taxhalting fracking, and investing instead in locally produced renewable energy, creating hundreds of thousands of secure jobs across the UK in the process. 

Investment in renewables doesn’t come without considerations of energy consumption, so as the creators of the Green New Deal, The Green Party, for example, have commited to building 100,000 extremely energy efficient council homes a year and retrofitting 1 million more. This plan ensures sustainable shelter for everyone, reduces energy consumption, and will create 10 million homes able to generate their own renewable energy by 2030

Divestment from fossil fuels includes revolutionising the transport system through deprivatisation, expansion, restoration, and electrification of public transport. This will eliminate dependence on carbon, reduce air pollution, and make transport more reliable, affordable, and accessible to everyone.

To coincide, they plan to help industry by helping it re form to embody a circular, low carbon economy. To aid in that transition to the green industrial revolution, £2 billion a year will be invested in training and skills to help people access the new, quality, well-paid, secure jobs created from investment in new technology and renewable energy in every corner of the country. Ensuring no one gets left behind.

To help tackle poverty and enhance financial security, this also means introducing a Universal Basic Income (UBI) paid to all residents, which will transform the social welfare system through unconditional financial payment to everyone at levels above their subsistence needs, challenging how work is valued and opening doors of opportunity to everyone which might otherwise be out of reach. 

Deprivatisation is a key part of the Green New Deal, this includes hospitals, post offices, energy, water, railways and schools, putting public services back in the power of people. This goes for land use as well, increasing space for nature and enhancing food security through the regeneration of soil, waterways, landscapes, habitats and species in urban, suburban and countryside settings, including rewilding projects and the reforestation of 700 million trees. 

R
REGENERATIVE FOOD SYSTEMS
The industrialisation of agriculture has created a degenerative mass-food system dependant on fossil fuels harms the most vulnerable and contributes to global warming. Conventional farming displaces carbon dioxide from the soil - where it creates and supports life - and forces its migration into the atmosphere and oceans -where its overpopulation causes harm, contributing to global heating and ocean acidification.  In addition due to the displacement of carbon, this type of farming makes land more susceptible to flooding and drought as dead soil is unable to absorb or store water, nor support life above or below the ground. The carbon dioxide and water stored in healthy soil feed the billions of microbes and invertebrates below the ground, and their vitality has a direct correlation to the nutritional value of the plant matter all life relies on, including the vitality of human health.

Access to healthy, culturally appropriate food, produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, should be considered a base human right in the countries we live in, as well as the countries we import our food from.

In the UK, their Green Party plans to implement regenerative food systems by refocus farming subsidies away from degenerative farming practices and towards carbon farming methods, creating localised, affordable, people-focused food systems, with 50% of all farms engaged in agroforestry by 2030. This greening of the UK will enhance food sovereigntyprotect soil and water, reverse global heating, protect and create jobs, reduce poverty, and regenerate our biosphere, and health of our culture as a whole. Laying down a natural inheritance of biocultural abundance to be passed down to future generations.

The heart of our food production needs to have place-based integration of agroecology principles which integrate with wildlife conservation, are for the soil, water, energy and climate, supporting the biosphere, food sovereignty and the livelihoods and communities of farmers, farmworkers and fisherfolk. By working to revive small-medium scale food cultivation in our communities, through community support and co-operative farms, we can bring people to the land and land to the people simultaneously. Over the coming week, we will share some community-led solutions already existing in England and Wales, in addition, we would love it if you can tag your favourite community-led food sovereignty programs near you, so we can amplify their voices and ideas too.
 
E
EQUALITY FOR ALL 
Social justice and environmental justice are intrinsically linked, and the imbalances created by degenerative policy has cast the climate into chaos and curated corrosive levels of inequality.

The Green Party is committed to tackling discrimination by reversing austerity, funding public services, ending the war on drugs, creating compassionate migrant policy, enhancing indigenous rights and autonomy worldwide, decolonising the school curriculum, and amplifying education and programmes which lift up the rights and lives of BIPOC / BAME and LGBTIQA+ communities.

E 
ECONOMICS OF ABUNDANCE 
Our current economic system is destroying our planet’s capacity to sustain life, putting our economy, climate and society at risk of chaotic collapse. The green industrial revolution and tax reforms outlined in their manifesto will create an economy which delivers prosperity free of consumptive GDP growth. 

Their goal seems to be to redefine societal definitions of abundance to reflect and be measured by the prosperity of human health, reduction of inequality, and regeneration of the natural world. Building policies which protect and enhance the living planet, respecting her limits and rights.

N
NET ZERO BY 2030 
The Green Party's Green New Deal is basically a roadmap on how to tackle climate and ecological breakdown at the scale and speed set out by science, for the total elimination of carbon emissions by 2030.

S
SYSTEMS CHANGE
Throughout the manifesto, The Green Party makes clear they are (and always have been) aiming to fix our broken democracy by sharing power and wealth equally.

Their commitment to the implementation of Citizens’ Assemblies will ensure democratic decision making here in the UK (and abroad) is representative of all peoples in this beautifully diverse nation, as well as peoples who live in countries affected by the decisions made on these islands. If implemented and practised properly, Citizens' Assemblies hold the power to unleash a revolution in democracy that lifts up everyone, nature and wildlife included, equally.
photo: unsplash

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