Nuevas economías frente al colapso: Qué hacer frente a los retos climáticos, ambientales y sociales.
22 Octubre. Sesión presencial y en streaming.
Esta jornada pretende concretar algunas iniciativas que se proponen entre diferentes colectivos y administraciones europeas para abordar los problemas climáticos, ambientales y sociales que ponen en peligro nuestra propia civilización.
Las presentaciones de la jornada tienen un enfoque global, si bien las iniciativas que se exponen pueden ser replicadas en cualquier lugar.
PROGRAMA DE LA JORNADA:
Economía del Bienestar y nuevas economías
Gestionar el presupuesto de carbono
Propuestas de acción para escenarios de colapso en Mataró
To meet the needs of all people within the means of the living planet, Doughnut Economics poses some big challenges for businesses. The business world will need to embrace bold and ambitious solutions that are both regenerative and distributive. To make this possible, we will need to transform the deep design of business: its purpose and networks, how it is governed and owned and the nature of its relationship with finance. This talk will explore ideas and models for achieving the needed transformations in business to help humanity into the Doughnut.
Erinch Sahan bio
Erinch is the business and enterprise lead at Doughnut Economics Action Lab. Recently, he was the chief executive of the World Fair Trade Organization and previously spent 7 years at Oxfam leading campaign initiatives and founded Oxfam’s Future of Business Initiative. Erinch has also worked at Procter & Gamble as a market strategy manager, established a furniture business and worked for Australia’s aid programme. Erinch is a board member of the Social Enterprise World Forum and teaches sustainable value chains at Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. He holds degrees in finance and law, and an honorary doctorate from Oxford Brookes University.
https://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/WEAll-Talk-Oct-2022-7.jpg400712WEAllhttps://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpgWEAll2022-08-24 15:50:452022-08-24 15:51:52WEAll Talk: When business meets the Doughnut
Portugal é o 22º país, entre 31 países europeus, no que diz respeito ao cumprimento dos objetivos do desenvolvimento sustentável, ainda que, se toda a Humanidade consumisse recursos naturais como Portugal, desde o dia 7 de maio estaríamos todos a viver a crédito ambiental, com todas as implicações que daí resultariam em termos de pressão sobre o equilíbrio ambiental.
Sabemos que não podemos fazer mais do mesmo e esperar resultados diferentes.
Neste contexto, a ZERO – Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável, no final de 2021, organizou um conjunto de quatro workshops com a participação de 31 organizações/instituições de diferentes quadrantes da sociedade portuguesa, com o objetivo de refletir, em conjunto, sobre uma visão para Portugal em 2040 numa Economia do Bem-Estar. Deste trabalho de reflexão resultou o relatório tornado público no início do mês de julho e que pode ser consultado em português e em inglês.
A visão para Portugal
“Em 2040, queremos que Portugal seja um país no qual todos possam viver vidas saudáveis e realizadas, independentemente de quem sejam ou de onde vivam e onde as decisões são participadas, inclusivas e transparentes. Que as pessoas vivam dignamente, conectadas e em harmonia com a natureza, reconhecendo e respeitando as interdependências e os limites. Que haja um sentido de comunidade, prosperidade e coesão em todas as regiões e respeito entre todos (gerações presentes e futuras) no nosso território e além-fronteiras.”
https://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/Economia-do-Bem-Estar-Uma-visao-para-Portugal-em-2040.png17531240WEAll Iberia Hubhttps://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpgWEAll Iberia Hub2022-07-21 08:53:142022-08-02 08:37:18Portugal lança 1ª relatório sobre Economia do Bem-Estar
A Economia do Bem-Estar assenta na ideia que a Economia deve estar ao serviço das pessoas e das comunidades, potenciando uma atividade económica que maximiza os impactes positivos e minimiza os impactos negativos, sempre com respeito pelos limites do planeta.
Coloca as necessidades fundamentais das pessoas e do planeta no centro das suas atividades, sendo estas:
Participação: Os cidadãos participam na tomada de decisões e estão envolvidos nas suas comunidades.
Finalidade: Instituições que servem o bem comum e proporcionam um valor real.
Natureza: Um mundo natural restaurado e seguro para todas as formas de vida.
Dignidade: Todos têm o suficiente para viver em conforto, segurança e felicidade.
Justiça: Equidade como elemento central da economia.
https://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpg00WEAll Iberia Hubhttps://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpgWEAll Iberia Hub2022-07-07 11:10:062022-07-07 14:57:21O que é a Economia do Bem-Estar?
Somos pessoas, organizações civis, instituições e empresas unidas pelo propósito comum de trabalhar para transformar o modelo económico atual, assente no paradigma do crescimento contínuo, extrativo e consumista, que já demonstrou ser incapaz de dar resposta às necessidades essenciais das pessoas, num outro modelo social e ambientalmente mais justo: a Economia do Bem-Estar.
Promovemos a transição eco social tendo por objetivo travar a degradação do planeta, erradicar a pobreza, combater a desigualdade social e colocar a sustentabilidade da vida como objetivo prioritário e como referência para as atividades produtivas.
Esta transição requer a participação de todos e estamos abertos à participação de todos aqueles que queiram contribuir com a sua visão e capacidade transformadora para uma Economia do Bem-Estar.
La Economía del Bienestar se basa en la idea de que la Economía debe estar al servicio de las personas y las comunidades, fomentando una actividad económica que maximice los impactos positivos y minimice los impactos negativos, siempre respetando los límites del planeta.
Pone en el centro de sus actividades las necesidades fundamentales de las personas y el planeta, garantizando que todas ellas se satisfagan por igual desde los principios:
Participación: Los ciudadanos participan en la toma de decisiones y se involucran en sus comunidades.
Propósito: Instituciones que sirven al bien común y proveen un valor real.
Naturaleza: Un mundo natural restaurado y seguro para toda la vida,
Dignidad: Todo el mundo tiene lo suficiente para vivir con comodidad, seguridad y felicidad,
https://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpg00WEAll Iberia Hubhttps://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpgWEAll Iberia Hub2022-07-07 11:05:172022-07-07 14:57:41¿Qué es la Economía de Bienestar?
Somos personas, organizaciones civiles, instituciones y empresas que nos unimos con el objetivo común de trabajar para transformar el modelo económico actual basado en el paradigma del crecimiento sin límites, extractivo, alienante y consumista e incapaz de resolver las necesidades esenciales de las personas, hacia otro modelo social y ambientalmente más justo: la Economía del Bienestar.
Impulsamos la transición ecosocial para detener la degradación del planeta, erradicar la pobreza, combatir la desigualdad social y situar la sostenibilidad de la vida como objetivo prioritario y como referente de las actividades productivas. Esta transición ecosocial requiere la participación del más amplio abanico de sectores de la población y de las iniciativas que aporten su visión y su capacidad transformadora hacia una Economía del Bienestar.
WEAll Iberia é um espaço inclusivo e aberto cuja missão é ligar, coordenar e promover ações a todos os níveis do movimento da Economia do Bem-Estar na Península Ibérica, a fim de criar uma massa crítica de pessoas e organizações que a tornem uma realidade. Concentramos a nossa ação em promover uma Economia assente em 4Ps:
Propósito: proporcionar bem-estar humano e ecológico. Por exemplo, aplicar um conjunto de medidas para além do PIB e desenvolver planos nacionais visionários.
Prevenção: não ficar satisfeito apenas em compensar as falhas do sistema, mas antes prevenir que as falhas ocorram. Por exemplo, focar os orçamentos nos resultados para as pessoas e o ambiente e promover uma produção e consumo circulares.
Pré-distribuição: Para reduzir as crescentes desigualdades, não bastam políticas redistributivas que corrijam as diferenças de rendimento através de impostos e subsídios. É necessário que todos tenham as mesmas oportunidades evitando as desigualdades na origem (as mesmas oportunidades de educação, saúde, cultura, etc…). A pré-distribuição não consiste em corrigir as diferenças de rendimento resultantes do mercado, mas sim em modificar o funcionamento do mercado para que ele gere menos desigualdades.
Poder das pessoas: assegurar que as pessoas estão envolvidas nas decisões e na definição das agendas. Por exemplo, assembleias de cidadãos e orçamentos participativos.
https://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpg00WEAll Iberia Hubhttps://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpgWEAll Iberia Hub2022-07-07 10:26:482022-07-07 14:58:00O que é o WEAll Iberia?
WEAll Iberia es un espacio inclusivo y abierto que tiene como misión conectar, coordinar e impulsar actuaciones en todos los niveles del movimiento de la Economía del Bienestar de Iberia, para crear una masa crítica de personas y organizaciones que la hagan realidad. Nos enfocamos en los 4 P’s de:
Propósito de la economía: proporcionar bienestar humano y ecológico.
Prevención: no contentarse con reparar el daño causado, sino evitar que éste se produzca en primer lugar.
Predistribución: Para reducir las desigualdades crecientes no es suficiente con las políticas redistributivas que corrigen las diferencias de ingresos mediante impuestos y subsidios. Es necesario que todos tengan las mismas oportunidades evitando las desigualdades en origen (las mismas oportunidades de educación, de sanidad, cultura, etc…). La predistribución no consiste en corregir las diferencias de renta producidas por el mercado, sino en modificar el funcionamiento del mercado con el fin de que genere menos desigualdades.
Poder de la gente: garantizar la participación de las personas en las decisiones y en el establecimiento de la agenda política. Por ejemplo, mediante las asambleas ciudadanas y otros procedimientos participativos
A little over a year ago, in March 2021, WEAll published our Policy Design Guide. This Guide was co-created with over 70 WEAll members, and aims to support visionary policy makers to build just and sustainable economies for people and the planet.
Since then, WEAll hubs in California, Canada, New Zealand and Scotland are working with community partners and local or city governments to bring the Wellbeing Economy Policy Design process to life.
Now, at the halfway point of their projects, these four WEAll hubs are focused on co-creating locally rooted wellbeing visions with their communities, which will go on to inform policy recommendations.
Why developing a wellbeing vision matters
“We need to move beyond narrow measures and views of value and broaden our definition of progress”
Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand
Wellbeing Economy policy design begins with setting a different vision of progress. For decades, we have used indicators such as wealth and GDP growth to assess societal progress.
This has led us to focus on fostering economic growth, regardless of whether or not it leads to improvements in collective wellbeing. Many governments are now flipping the script and developing more holistic and longer-term visions of progress, so that collective wellbeing becomes the ultimate measure of economic success. These visions help us to recognise wealth as one driver of wellbeing, alongside a wide variety of other social, cultural and environmental factors.
The challenge, of course, is that viewing wealth as the main–and often only–indicator of progress has become embedded in many of our cultures, influencing the way we view our own capacities, relationships, and purpose. Changing this requires expanding our understanding of the economy, its relationship to social and ecological wellbeing, and our notion of progress to encompass a wide variety of factors that determine the quality of our lives on this planet. As such, a Wellbeing Vision is not something that can be imposed; it must come from within communities and will vary according to each of their needs, desires and contexts. Co-creating Wellbeing Visions requires engagement with communities to understand what matters for their wellbeing, now and for generations to come.
2) Crafting and communicating the Wellbeing Vision
3) Measuring wellbeing.
The purpose of this process is to develop a medium- to long-term Wellbeing Vision towards which the society and government will work.
The visioning work of the hubs so far
Working with schools and young workers, the Love Letham team has carried out age-appropriate visioning with over 270 children and young people in Letham: that is over 20% of all children and young people in the community they’re working with.
The activities were innovative, designed to be fun and engaging for the children and young people taking part as well as to draw out their hopes for a thriving future in Letham. The different techniques used were:
Magic Carpet – pretend they are flying above a future version of Letham and describe what they see
Photo Walk – taking pictures of what they value about their community and what they would change
Poems and presentations – young people choose their own medium to communicate what a good life means for them
Small world observed play – young children play with figures representing themselves, and their caregiver. They act out what they like to do and where they feel safe and happy on a map or sandtray.
Small group discussion – these included parents and carers too. The discussion was based on questions about the local area and what children need to live well there.
The project team has also established the Love Letham Commission, which includes young people, local leaders and community representatives. At their first meeting in April, they also took part in visioning exercises to connect with what a Wellbeing Economy could mean for Letham. Through the collaboration with local primary schools, a parallel Children’s Commission is also up and running. These two Commissions will analyse the data from the visioning exercises and develop it into a shared vision in the coming weeks.
Sarah Stocks, Northern Star (delivering Love Letham project on behalf of WEAll Scotland) reflects on this juncture for their visioning work:
“It’s great to have a lot of data that’s not in the same homogeneous form. We’re going to use the Mosaic Approach to bring it all together. At the first Commission meeting, we took some of the data to them and asked what was striking them. There were lots of really interesting observations about what people need. What children want is to be able to have the things that they need in the place that they’re in.”
[Pomona residents take part in a visioning workshop inside a local solar panel factory. Photo credit: J Fackenthal]
With a core group that includes WEAll California hub members, representatives of the Latino Latina Roundtable and elected officials, the California team has developed and honed its approach to visioning that it will now go on to use with the wider community in Pomona.
They developed a workshop that can be used online or in person. Ahead of the workshop, participants were asked to name general areas that are a priority for achieving wellbeing in Pomona.
The pilot team distilled those into five priority areas. During the meeting, the core group was put in pairs and each pair came up with as many wellbeing priorities as they could for that area. They were explicitly asked not to worry about ranking or prioritising, just to capture everything they could think of.
Next, different sets of pairs looked at these long lists and ranked them in an unusual way.
Jeremy Fackenthal, EcoCiv and WEAll California co-founder, explains: “We wanted to genuinely assume that everything that was listed in the previous session was important or valuable. So instead, we ranked in terms of time and priorities. What could be accomplished? What should be focused on within the next 12 months? What should be prioritised over the next three years? Over the next five years? And then beyond?
“We really want to start to do this with larger and larger circles. It shouldn’t just be our core group naming what we say are the priorities. We’re be repeating the process with a number of different groups from May onwards, starting with community groups and activists working on issues related to wellbeing and ideally more City Council members. Then over the summer, the idea is to build toward larger, almost citywide events, but to do that by starting to reach out to groups of maybe 12 or 15 people at a time using some existing networks.”
The pilot team working in Toronto is also taking the approach of starting with a core group for visioning work, and will soon progress to work with City Government officials and wider groups of Toronto residents.
Not only is the core group going through the visioning process, they are also co-creating it.
Tara Campbell, David Suzuki Foundation (delivering the Toronto project on behalf of WEAll Can) has put a lot of focus on the people who make up that core group, taking care to invite them into this process as unique individuals rather than representatives of an organisation or group. She explains:
“These are people who are community organisers, designers, artists, academics: people who have deep relationships in Toronto. They have networks that they could invite into the larger process, and who are also quite invested. I don’t know if any of them would have ever even heard the term Wellbeing Economy before. But I would say that their work falls within it.”
Attention is also being paid to the types of spaces people are being invited into. The core group is initially meeting outdoors, gathering around fires to share their visions for a thriving future in Toronto. The group has a mood board and a shared playlist, taking a multi-sensory approach to wellbeing visioning. They are currently shaping the broader visioning process which City officials and wider groups of residents will be invited into over the course of the summer.
The WEAll team in Aotearoa New Zealand are concentrating on local government for their study project. Local governments are required by statute “to promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities in the present and for the future”. This requirement was first introduced in 2002, and so there is a good history of New Zealand initiatives in the Wellbeing Economy space.
Some local governments, for example, have worked with community partners to create formal frameworks for monitoring the wellbeing of their communities. The Canterbury Wellbeing Index is a good example. This includes a wellbeing framework named He Tohu Ora, which is based on Indigenous values developed in liaison with the local Māori tribe, Ngāi Tahu. Another is at the top of the South Island. Te Tauihu is an intergenerational wellbeing strategy inspired by the vision to be good ancestors, this was developed in conjunction with the local government’s economic development agency.
Against that background, the WEAll team are working with a community wealth building project in Porirua, which is a city within commuting distance of the country’s capital city of Wellington. The project has identified three opportunities for developing a local Wellbeing Economy centred on housing, food and digital. Project leaders are exploring how to develop this potential. The WEAll team is walking alongside this initiative, using the Wellbeing Economy Policy Design Guide to engage with the project on turning vision into policy.
Paul Dalziel, Deputy Director of the AERU at Lincoln University comments: “This project is a practical illustration of how a wellbeing lens can help communities build wealth in a way that respects the natural environment and expands the capabilities of people to flourish.
Justin Connolly, Director of Deliberate, adds: “Porirua is a good example of how participatory projects can redesign systems to better promote community wellbeing.”
Paul and Justin are leading the WEAll contributions to this project.
Are you interested in finding out more about the pilot projects, or using the Policy Design Guide to inform your own work? Get in touch with me at email@example.com.
https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1546188994-07c34f6e5e1b?ixid=MnwxNTM4NDN8MHwxfGFsbHx8fHx8fHx8fDE2NTQwMjA0NDI&ixlib=rb-1.2.1&fm=jpg&q=85&fit=crop&w=2560&h=170617062560WEAllhttps://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpgWEAll2022-06-01 07:04:002022-06-08 16:19:48Envisioning Wellbeing: four hubs making progress on Wellbeing Economy policy design
“Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity” will take place five decades after the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. The event will provide leaders with an opportunity to draw on 50 years of multilateral environmental action to achieve the bold and urgent action needed to secure a better future on a healthy planet.
The planet, societies and economies are under growing pressure. This event aims at reimagining policymaking to design economies that serve human and planetary health. Governments will showcase innovative instruments and policies to establish Wellbeing Economies. Civil society responds and shares its vision for a new economic system.
Moderator: Patrizia Heidegger (Director for Global Policies and Sustainability, European Environmental Bureau)
Keynote opening speech
Sandrine Dixson-Declève (Co-President, Club of Rome)
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Environment Commissioner, European Commission
Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
Tshering Gyaltshen Penjor, Ambassador to the EU, Kingdom of Bhutan
Terhi Lehtonen, State Secretary, Ministry for the Environment, Finland
Short civil society respondents
Jennifer del Rosario-Malonzo, Executive Director, IBON International
Nina Gualinga, Women Defender from the Kichwa community at Amazon Watch
Georgina Muñoz, Co-Chair, Global Call for Action Against Poverty
Ebrima Sall, Executive Director, TrustAfrica
Bruno Roelants, Secretary General, the International Cooperative Alliance
The 1972 Stockholm Conference highlighted the centrality of the environment for human wellbeing. However, our planet, societies and economies are under growing pressure. Human activities overshoot several planetary boundaries whilst governments struggle to meet all societal needs. It is time to reimagine economic policymaking and to make our economies serve human and planetary wellbeing. Although the contexts, concepts and pace vary, some governments around the world are engaged in reimagining their economic model. Bhutan orients its policies at Gross National Happiness, Wales has passed the Well-being of Future Generations Act, and the European Commission is designing a Beyond GDP dashboard. These innovative actions illustrate how wellbeing-focused economies can drive sustainable development. The purpose of this event is to exchange concrete measures that governments are taking to redefine the priorities for a new economic system. It will discuss how to initiate and enable the transition towards wellbeing economies and what good policy practices can look like. The event strives to encourage further debates on how to reimagine our economies in respect of the planet’s ecological limits.
We thank the Laudes Foundation for providing funding to organise this event.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s fourth Wellbeing Budget continued the focus on wellbeing and responded to social and environmental failings – but did it address them?
A transformation is still needed to go from Wellbeing Budgets to a Wellbeing Economy – one that delivers wellbeing by default, not one where it needs to be added on.
After two years of Covid dominating Government spending decisions, Grant Robertson pitched the 2022 Budget as “less of a crisis budget” and a return to the wellbeing framework. What the country saw this week was very much a Wellbeing Budget but one that responded to failing rather than addressing them.
Since the first Wellbeing Budget in 2019 the Labour-led Government has approached the annual process to put together the national books differently from their predecessors. A wellbeing analysis was applied across all spending, and government departments were asked to leave silos and work together on joint proposals.
With a message of kindness and a focus on child poverty this approach received international plaudits in a world hungry for inspiring, positive news.
The 2022 Budget continued this focus, with Treasury’s updated Living Standards Framework providing the behind the scenes structure. Robertson’s focus in this Budget was health, cost of living issues – especially for the ‘squeezed middle’ – and climate change. Big ticket items were a record amount spent on a buckling health system, a temporary $350 payment for around two million New Zealanders and $2.9 billion of Emissions Trading Scheme revenue recycled on climate projects.
In Parliament National moved the inevitable amendment to oppose the Budget and labelled it the ‘Backwards Budget’, instead pushing for tax cuts. New Zealand is already in the bottom half of the OECD for tax as a percentage of GDP and a tax cut, especially one targeted at higher earners, would simply increase inequality while placing further pressure on public services.
This Budget contained many good measures, including rectifying a historic child support injustice.
However it continued the incremental, slow approach to change that won’t substantially alter persistent poverty, wealth inequality or the biodiversity and climate crises.
While National’s Christopher Luxon railed against so-called wasteful spending, this Budget was no radical dagger aimed at the heart of Neoliberal economics.
The parliamentary debate is always full of hyperbole but I believe a reasonable and constructive critique of the Budget is that it focused on failure demand.
This is the concept where the Government pays costs which are responding to the damage created by the current economic system. Current settings aren’t delivering a socially-secure, high-wage, low-carbon economy so vast sums are spent addressing symptoms and avoiding causes.
Take the biggest new line of spending – health. More than $11 billion was allocated over the forecast period – a huge sum – spent to patch holes and pay debt from historic underinvestment. Fixing damage.
In the climate space, nearly $340m will be spent looking for agricultural fixes to address the failure that farmers don’t pay the cost of their emissions.
The temporary $350 cost-of-living payment for individuals earning under $70k (except beneficiaries) offers short-term relief but doesn’t solve the systemic problem that Kiwis work some of the longest hours for some of the lowest wages and pay some of the highest costs of living in the developed world.
Half price public transport for Community Service Card holders and higher low-income dental grants help – but only respond to the failure that New Zealanders are not guaranteed liveable incomes above the poverty line.
Spending on motels for emergency shelter, the human and health and costs of diseases from unsafe housing, purchasing international carbon credits to avoid reducing emissions at home are all other examples of costly remedial measures from avoidable damage.
Economically New Zealand is doing reasonably well compared to similar countries in these volatile times. The growth rate is high coming out of Covid, government debt is comparatively small and the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since 1986. With money to spend, the Government has been able to respond to some areas of failure demand but not all, by any means. A rental crisis, a housing crisis, an inequality crisis, a poverty crisis, a biodiversity crisis, and a climate crisis still stalk Aotearoa.
Wellbeing Budgets have been a welcome innovation but the next step surely must be addressing the root causes of social and environmental failure and building a Wellbeing Economy. A Wellbeing Economy is structured so that the economy serves people and planet, rather than being geared to maximise profit only through economic growth at the expense of the planet. It is designed to deliver quality of life with dignity, purpose, fairness and participation whilst caring for nature.
We need to do more than respond to costly avoidable damages arising from our current system. In 2017 Jacinda Ardern in her first speech as Prime Minister said: “This will be a Government of transformation”. With one Budget left before the next election I hope the Government will deliver on this aspiration.
Written by Gareth Hughes, WEAll Aotearoa New Zealand Country Lead
Many years ago I had the rare privilege to visit Kiribati, the low-lying Pacific nation on the frontlines of climate change. Climate change isn’t academic there – it’s a lived part of daily existence. Even then in 2010, they were building seawalls to try and keep the rapidly-rising seas from washing into their fields. Heartbreakingly these flimsy walls were built from garbage and sticks and would be no match for the power of the waves.
This week New Zealand outlined the country’s plan to reduce emissions consistent with the Zero Carbon Act. Would a New Zealander travelling to Kiribati today be able to report New Zealand was doing all it could to urgently reduce emissions? Is it enough?
It comes in the fifth year of Ardern’s premiership, fourteen years after the Emissions Trading Scheme was created and 32 years after New Zealand’s first climate targets were announced. Since 1990 New Zealand’s emissions have increased by a full quarter – primarily as a result of ‘cars, cows and coal’. Successive governments have preferred agricultural exemptions, ineffective price signals and technological wishful thinking over more proactive policies. Inadequate targets, pine tress and creative accounting have all been used to mask our long-standing lack of deep and decisive action.
On Monday Climate Minister James Shaw released the Government’s first Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) – a laundry list of policies to meet the first emissions budget. The plan sets out $2.9 billion in spending from the Emissions Trading Scheme, the biggest single item being a $569m cash-for-clunkers scheme to encourage cleaner vehicles. There’s $350m for walking and cycling, $650m to help industry invest in low-carbon processes and $339m for agricultural research and a new Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions. Farming still gets a free-ride outside of the ETS and many people have pointed out the irony it is receiving about a third of the total funding without contributing anything towards it.
Despite being a weighty 343 pages, the plan lacks detail and ambition and many of its pages are padded outlining existing projects and case studies. Far too many actions are listed as to ‘investigate’, ‘explore’, ‘trial,’ or ‘consider’ and twelve separate new strategies are proposed. Substantially grappling with the 50% of our emissions that come from agriculture or making difficult decisions like reducing the national dairy herd have been ‘kicked down the road’ to another day along with congestion charging and bans on internal combustion vehicle imports. People hoping for a permanent extension of public transport discounts, free public transport or electric bike incentives would have been disappointed.
With billions of ETS revenue to spend there are many worthwhile projects in the plan. Home insulation, more electric car chargers, a new Climate Information Centre and organic kerbside waste collection are all good projects. One particularly promising area the plan outlines is a Māori climate strategy and action plan that ‘prioritises mātauranga Māori’. Funding will be made available for tangata Māori initiatives and I would love to see solar panels adorning the roofs of marae and whanau and hapu producing their own power. I imagine an Emissions Reduction Plan developed in a true Tiriti partnership would be stronger.
I wanted to see a huge regenerative agriculture fund and a €25bn package like in the Netherlands to radical reduce livestock numbers. I wished for more to help our most vulnerable New Zealanders cope with climate change amongst the other structural challenges they face. I hoped the ERP would have sent a clearer signal New Zealand coal burning might end before my children have kids and oil drilling might stop before they have grandkids. There are plenty more climate policies to push politicians of all stripes on.
After decades of inaction, the ERP is a milestone and a step-forward but a small step. Would this plan truly demonstrate to a citizen on a small-island state like Kiribati that New Zealand is treating climate change like an emergency and doing all it can to reduce its high per-person emissions? Probably not. It does show a direction of travel and after decades of inaction, perhaps those selling this aspect of the ERP are right to celebrate this. We need a level of political ambition as high as the existential threat of climate change.
The ERP is a modest step in the right direction but still leaves many of the most intractable, difficult choices ahead. We should celebrate positive steps but we shouldn’t forget Bill McKibben’s warning ‘winning slowly is the same as losing.’
While this isn’t the bold, transformative plan to fundamentally redesign our economy to live within planetary boundaries it should be – it can be a foundation to build on. The climate movement has made massive strides and is now securing serious money and policy programs but the scale of action is not yet matching the scale of the climate emergency.
In the end, a bold, transformative plan is unlikely to come handed down from those in power – it will come from people coming together. People who want to turn roadway into cycleway like on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, travel between our towns and cities on a national network of fast intercity rail and ride on modern free public transport need to redouble their efforts. Those campaigning to end coal burning for milk dehydration and a ban on coal exports need to ramp it up. Those calling for social justice and drawing attention to the fact 15 companies are responsible for three-quarters of New Zealand’s emissions need to constantly remind our politicians about this. We need to work together, build bridges and form alliances across society to create a transformative climate movement. This is just the start.
https://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/New-Zealand-by-Bernard-Bragg-under-Creative-Commons.jpg5741023NewZealand Hubhttps://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpgNewZealand Hub2022-05-19 00:16:142022-05-20 00:29:59New Zealand’s Emissions Reduction Plan is a step in the right direction, but where’s the ambition?
Kia ora ngā mihi nui kia koutou katoa. I whānau mai au i te taha o te awa o Tairawhiti. I raro i te maru o te maunga o Kaiti. He uri ahau no Wales, no Scotland. Kei te noho au kei Ōtepoti. Ko Gareth Hughes toku ingoa. Tena koutou katoa.
I’m Gareth Hughes, the new Country Lead for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand and I wanted to introduce myself. Above is a little about where I have come from in Te Reo Māori, the first language in New Zealand. I’ve spent my entire adult life campaigning for progressive causes as a campaigner at Greenpeace, as a Green MP and an activist. I describe my background as banging on the outside doors of Parliament as an activist then banging-on from the inside. I’ve taken part in non-violent direct action, like once infamously being arrested dressed as Ronald McDonald, passed laws and led campaigns that helped end offshore oil exploration and shark finning in New Zealand. I’ve always felt a passion and a calling for social justice and to protect our planet and I’ve tried to pull all the levers to achieve it.
After working on the symptoms for so long I am excited to now focus on the source of so many of the problems we face. I believe the most important mission facing us is working together to build an economy that works for people and the planet.
In 2020 I ended a decade-long career as a Member of Parliament. I am proud of what I achieved there but I was also frustrated how often the focus was on the short term, policy tinkering or debating what type of ambulance should be at the bottom of the cliff. Things like climate change, homelessness, poverty and inequality were seen as if they were bugs in the system when in fact they were consequences of a system that needs to change fast. My final speech in Parliament was a challenge to all political parties for transformational change – this is what I’ll be focused on in this new role. As such, I have stepped away from political party membership so I can advocate effectively to all parties.
In my valedictory speech I ended on a note of optimism for the future. “Fortunately for us in Aotearoa, we have an alternative value system focused on collective wellbeing, long-term thinking, and a strong connection to nature in mātauranga Māori. I believe if we truly became a Te Tiriti o Waitangi – respecting nation, we could escape the fatal embrace of short-term, individualistic, environmentally damaging thinking that has dominated our politics.”
In my office I used to have a poster of the first whole image of the Earth taken from space hung on my wall. It was a reminder we need to operate within planetary boundaries which is so beautifully communicated in the Doughnut Economy. In the last year I have been researching and writing a biography of the late Jeanette Fitzsimons who was one of the pioneers of challenging infinite growth on a finite planet and GDP as a measure of success in New Zealand. This deep-dive into her work and the wider thinking that has occurred by many people over multiple decades has further inspired me to focus on a wellbeing economy. These are well-established ideas and the move towards them is now urgent.
I’m also a Dad to two kids, Arlo 14 and Zoe 11 and partner to my wife Meghan. We live in paradise, next to the sea in a small village on the Otago Peninsula in the southern part of New Zealand’s South Island. I love travel but I want to see the world in a low-carbon way so in the last five years I’ve become passionate about sailing. Most weekends you’ll find me on my yacht Avanti.
I am proud to join the New Zealand Hub in this new phase, as it becomes an established organisation with full-time staff, and to continue to expand on the more recent work of our WEAll volunteers in New Zealand. I have a busy work plan and I’m looking forward to rolling that out and working with WEAll partners, citizens and all political parties.
https://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/Gareth-Hughes-MP-Headshot.jpeg6281200NewZealand Hubhttps://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpgNewZealand Hub2022-05-10 21:49:282022-05-10 21:49:30‘Kia ora’ from the new WEAll Aotearoa New Zealand Country Lead
How can we inspire the urgent and collective action we need, right now, to address the major challenges of our time? We think local action in local places is a big part of the solution, and that’s why Wellbeing Economy Wales is exploring ways of empowering and supporting communities to take action.
In September 2021 we were excited to convene a major event for Wales about the synergy between our vision for a wellbeing economy, and Kate Raworth’s “Doughnut Economics”. Bringing together Kate Raworth, Katherine Trebeck, and Sophie Howe – who is Wales’ Future Generations Commissioner – the discussion unexpectedly attracted 800 registrations, many more than any of our previous events! Clearly there is something about “the doughnut” that resonates with people and sparks their curiosity. We had hit upon a great way to talk to people about wellbeing economics in a way that seemed to make sense, using Kate Raworth’s framework of the social foundation and the planetary limit. This landmark meeting for Wales has become a launchpad for greater community and organisational engagement for the Wales Wellbeing Economy Alliance hub.
Building on the interest generated by that first discussion, which you can watch in full on our Youtube Channel here, Wellbeing Economy Wales is now designing a series of workshops to help communities across Wales develop their own priorities, plans and actions – using tools and resources developed by the Doughnut Economics Action Lab, as well as others. We are working in partnership with Oxfam Cymru, and inviting an initial cohort of participants to join this Wales-wide learning journey.
Find out more and keep up to date as this initiative moves forward, on our website.
https://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/Kate-Raworth-01-by-Roman-Krznaric-scaled-1.jpg17002560Cymru-Wales Hubhttps://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpgCymru-Wales Hub2022-05-05 10:09:342022-05-05 10:12:30Empowering communities to take action locally
Our wonderful co-founder and Advocacy Advisor, Dr. Katherine Trebeck, is stepping back from WEAll, after many years of incredible work and dedication to put the Wellbeing Economy into the public agenda and gather so many people and forces around this shared vision. She has been fundamental in the construction of this organization and movement, and we will all miss her passion and enthusiasm in the WEAll family, but we know this is also just a “see you soon”, not a “goodbye”. Below, word by word, is Katherine’s recent blog post explaining a bit more in depth her path until now and next steps:
March 2022 Time off and next steps
This blog has been a long time coming (and it’s not even a blog – just a wee note to explain why I’ll be going quiet and unresponsive for a few months).
Being part of building the Wellbeing Economy Alliance has been the most incredible journey. It began when Stewart Wallis wrote an email to me back in June 2017 with the subject line of: ‘Hello and Mad Suggestion!’ It was mad, but somehow it feels we have made what felt mad – but very necessary – now manifest and possible (the photo above shows just some of the fantastic folk who make it so).
But, my husband is retiring so I am taking the opportunity to gather my thoughts a bit and from April to the end of June I will be ‘downing tools’ and taking some extended leave; stepping back from being a core team member for both the WEAll global team and WEAll Scotland.
It is because of where WEAll is and how it’s standing that I feel it is timely to find new adventures and different ways of trying to be useful. The global WEAll ‘Amp’ team has just met in person, for the first time for many of us. We cooked together, laughed, drank caprihinas, walked, and worked through some knotty internal questions and made some rather fantastic plans for the coming months and years. The team are pretty darn amazing – such different skills on top of shared energy, care, and passion for the work of WEAll. WEAll feels steadier now in a way it hasn’t before. People are coming to WEAll, wanting support to implement and learn more about the nature of an economy that puts people and planet first. There is secure funding beyond the next few months for the first time and WEAll is in the process of recruiting some excellent new colleagues to help carry it into the next stage.
And as for Scotland WEAll, while smaller and still fragile financially, is punching above its weight thanks to a dynamic board of dazzling women; volunteers who are generous beyond anything I have ever seen; and a small staff team who couldn’t be more perfect for their respective roles.
So it feels like a new era for WEAll – one in which I can be more a friend, by-stander and cheerleader than such an active player.
WEAll is more necessary than ever. I am more grateful for WEAll’s existence than I can imagine given the current economic debates in Scotland which feel pathetically inadequate for our times and given the lack of sufficient action pretty much everywhere to build a more humane economy that’s gentler on the planet.
What instead after my time off? There are a few ideas, some irons in fires and twinkles in eyes. But I can’t pick one above another until I’ve had a bit of a break and spent a bit of time in the Scottish hills and then breathing deeply of some Australian eucalyptus (something I am missing terribly after almost three years). So TBC I guess.
There’s a lovely wee saying that ‘you can’t discover new oceans until you are ready to lose sight of the shore’. I’m not feeling particularly brave or adventurous or anything, but I am feeling it’s time to look out again and see what new ways I can find to be part of building a more humane economy.
*Her original post can be found in her website: https://katherinetrebeck.com/time-off-and-next-steps/
https://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/Katherine_Trebeck_Emerge_Ormerod_Edit-16.jpg10001500WEAllhttps://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpgWEAll2022-04-05 17:19:282022-04-05 17:25:50Katherine Trebeck: Time off and next steps
By David Suzuki with contributions from Ontario and Northern Canada Director General Yannick Beaudoin
When you pause to reflect on what’s truly essential and meaningful for you to thrive, what comes to mind?
Is it about having more? Or having better? Is it about all the buying or the genuine caring? Is it about over-consuming or connecting and sharing? Is it about loving stuff and status or simply loving? As we experience disruption on a scale not seen since the Second World War, people in Canada are taking note of what’s really important to them. That can lay the foundation for new ways of thinking about a better economy for tomorrow.
We often confound “economy” and “economics.” Words matter. In this time of crisis, we’re hearing rhetoric aimed at convincing us that caring for our personal health and that of our loved ones is locked in an antagonistic tension with protecting the economy’s “health.” Yet the word “economy” refers to all the interconnected social actions every person does daily. It’s about the way you live your life and the way everyone around you lives theirs. It includes the stories we tell, the knowledge we share, the making, exchanging and trading. It describes how we experience and govern our collective lives on a shared planet.
As we’re witnessing at this extraordinary moment in history, often what we feel matters most in our times of need is not aligned with the purpose we gave our economy before this crisis.
“Economics,” on the other hand, is about how we think about the economy and what its purpose should or could be. As we’re witnessing at this extraordinary moment in history, often what we feel matters most in our times of need is not aligned with the purpose we gave our economy before this crisis.
It’s also interesting that the words “economy” and “ecology” both come from the Greek “oikos,” meaning “domain” or “household.” Ecologists seek the principles, rules and laws that enable species to flourish sustainably. Economists are meant to “manage” our activity within the biosphere, our domain — ideally within the rules and strictures ecologists find.
Before the pandemic, we thought of our economy as an engine, the main purpose of which was to burn through natural resources quickly to produce as much money as possible using the cheapest, most abstract notion of labour. That equation omits human beings with all our complexities and the “pale blue dot” on which we all depend. It wasn’t exactly intentional.
This equation was agreed to at the end of a war, under the assumption that more trade between nations would ensure global peace and prosperity. In 1944, representatives from 44 countries met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to create a more efficient foreign exchange system and to promote economic growth. Out of crisis, a new way of managing our economics emerged. Although the system was changed in the 1970s, it maintained its earlier purpose.
Now, many politicians are ascribing war language to the pandemic response. But what will we do when this “war” is over? Will we allow an old equation to continue to guide us, or could we choose to come together to define a new purpose?
The old way of thinking about the economy, the established economics, has been exposed as inadequate and flawed.
People everywhere are in distress. Our health and livelihoods are threatened. The social fabric of togetherness is impeded by a need to stay physically distant from each other. The old systems haven’t been able to respond to our needs in meaningful ways, so governments have had to use unusual interventions to ensure the collective good. The old way of thinking about the economy, the established economics, has been exposed as inadequate and flawed.
But through this distress and disruption, we’re seeing glimmers of transformative potential. Over a few weeks, incredible acts of kindness and collective caring have become normal. People are applying novel means of digital creativity to support each other. Some businesses are pivoting from short-term, profit-first motives to purpose-driven actions in response to real needs.
We’re witnessing the surfacing of tangible inspirations for the re-imaging of a Canadian economy — one explicitly designed to deliver the well-being and resilience people need to flourish — and that nature can provide today and for generations to come.
At the end of the Second World War, it took just three weeks for a small group of men to design what would become a new purpose driving the postwar global economy. As this crisis comes to an end, will we embrace the opportunity to do better?
Together, we can design an economics for what matters.
Last week, Statistics Canada announced that gross domestic product grew by 1.3 per cent over the last quarter. It’s in large part because of an increase in household spending, meaning more money is leaving your wallet.
Does growth of our traditional measure of economic success mean you’re better off? Maybe; maybe not. But it’s time we accept GDP for what it was always meant to be: a measure of the value of goods and services our country produces, rather than a mark of our collective well-being.
Our economic system doesn’t distinguish between what’s good or bad for society. It often benefits from social ills and environmental crises. The act of using money to pay for, or provide, a good or service boosts economic activity. With wildfires, governments have to spend money on extinguishing, rescue operations and rebuilding, all of which support more jobs. Nobody would advocate for spreading more wildfires. But from the perspective of boosting GDP, there’s a transactional benefit to supporting a growing sector.
Our economic system doesn’t distinguish between what’s good or bad for society. It often benefits from social ills and environmental crises.
Today’s economy is growing not in spite of some of the greatest challenges our society faces, but because of them. More people than ever are struggling to make ends meet, while the twin biodiversity and climate crises threaten the very future of humanity. Yet we continue to focus on growing GDP, as if that ever will translate into greater human and ecological well-being.
If we want to break the vicious cycle that results from chasing economic growth above all else, we need to redefine our economic purpose. We need to pursue well-being as if it’s the only thing that matters. Because ultimately, isn’t it? Don’t we all want greater health and more time to raise our children? Or meaningful jobs that keep us satisfied?
There is something profoundly wrong with an economic system that values a sick child over a healthy one, since a sick child creates more jobs and services and thus boosts GDP. It would seem that our society is the one that is sick.
It’s not a radical idea to grow an economy intentionally designed to generate well-being for people and ensure nature’s health in perpetuity.
We can still disagree on political priorities. But until we get over this obsession with economic purpose as growth, we’ll never achieve well-being for all. Until we can stop treating each other and the world around us like factors of production just waiting to be converted into money at the cheapest possible rate, we’ll be trapped in the same economic thinking that led us to where we are today: a world where a rich few propel themselves to new planets, while the vast majority struggle to survive on the only planet they’ll ever know.
It’s not a radical idea to grow an economy intentionally designed to generate well-being for people and ensure nature’s health in perpetuity. Indigenous Peoples worldwide have been guided by such holistic thinking since time immemorial. All we need to do is listen and learn from their experiences.
GDP may tell us how much an economy has grown, but it says nothing about the quality of life of those growing it. It’s time we put people and the planet first.
https://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpg00WEAll Canada Hubhttps://weall.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WEAll-logo-smaller.jpgWEAll Canada Hub2022-02-20 00:56:192022-02-20 00:56:22Canada’s GDP says nothing about our well-being — it often benefits from social ills and environmental crises
GDP growth ignores challenges most people in Canada face just to survive
A new alliance of Indigenous and Canadian organizations is calling for a well-being revolution — in the economy, that is. The Well-being Economies Alliance for Canada and Sovereign Indigenous Nations says the celebrations around gross domestic product returning to pre-pandemic levels discount the day-to-day hardships many in this country, including Indigenous people, face. Ahead of the upcoming federal budget, the alliance is calling for policies that put well-being first.
“The economy is up, but many people are down when it comes to their quality of life,” Yannick Beaudoin, lead facilitator with WEAll Can and director of innovation with the David Suzuki Foundation said. “It’s time to stop celebrating rises in GDP as if that means everyone is better off. In fact, it’s often the opposite.”
Canada’s GDP rose to 0.2 per cent over this time last year. However, according to recent Angus Reid polling, three-in-five Canadians say they’re having trouble feeding their households and two-in-five say they’re worse off than last year.
“Everyone is talking about building back better, but we need to consider what that means for everyone,” Beaudoin said. “We should learn from Indigenous Peoples who have always been guided by such principles. And we can follow the lead of countries like Scotland and New Zealand that are starting to put in place policies to promote well-being. Things like ensuring decent and secure work and social protection. And where productivity isn’t judged by dollar signs but by enhancement of that well-being.”
WEAll Can is an alliance of Indigenous and colonial descendants, economists, innovators, researchers, activists and policy experts looking to transform the economic system away from a growth mindset and toward one rooted in quality of life.
“Shifting to economies of well-being require us to uphold the dignity of all life, including our non-human relations: land, the waters, animals, trees, plant life and even the air we breathe,” Terrellyn Fearn, director of Turtle Island Institute said. “The earth is changing, therefore, we must change our way of thinking from individualism to communal by ‘centring values of relationality and care’ to connect to the living spirit of the land imbued with the life force of all of Creation.”
“Nothing short of a wholesale change in human values is called for in this generation and beyond,” Kahontakwas Diane Longboat, founder of Soul of the Mother said. “Respect, compassion and love for each other, generosity, kindness and unconditional sharing are the new laws of life for well-being. We, as adults, must learn and encourage our young people to learn the value of collective thinking for the highest good of all and the preservation of the commons.”
WEAll Can is part of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, a global coalition advancing economies designed with human and ecological well-being in mind.
“We need a well-being revolution,” Beaudoin said. “We can’t keep taking and expanding at an unchecked rate while everyone and the natural world around us suffer. We need to focus on policies that deliver good lives and a healthy planet instead of growth.”
Learn more about the Well-being Economies Alliance for Canada and Sovereign Indigenous Nations at https://weallcanada.org.
When it comes to going ‘beyond GDP’, there are two major countries that have a mighty historical disadvantage: the United States of America and Germany — my home country. Until very recently, I was convinced that these two would only move away from that mighty number once every other country on the face of the earth had let go of it.
The USA were built on the promise that each following year, ‘the cake’ would be bigger — with ‘the cake’ being the space that was available to immigrants (while the aboriginal population was killed or dislocated). And, as long as new places could be ‘discovered’ and conquered, this logic held true: Anyone could make a living and build a wonderful new life in the New World.
Fast forward to today, and ‘the cake’ is no longer space — today, it is money. “With GDP growth there will be more money next year, so even you — yes, you, the poor girl/guy with nothing to eat, no roof above your head — can make it, if you only try hard enough” says the American Dream. The fact that this Dream is no longer available to most — despite the millions that are still clinging to it — may explain at least some of the current distortions in American democracy and society.
In Germany, our love affair with GDP has been much shorter — but no less powerful. For us, it provided meaning in our darkest hour: After the Nazis had inspired, motivated, coerced, tempted, roared, seduced, threatened the country into “total warfare” with the whole planet, our country and our world lay in ruins, and there was no way back to the (presupposed) glory of old. Enter GDP, to provide us with our new glory. Instead of winning the world by military means, my compatriots were handed a new tool to win it economically. And win we did. Leaps and bounds in GDP growth were soon summarised in the very term every West-German child is familiar with: “Wirtschaftswunder”, aka: “economic miracle“. (I grew up in the West and do not want to speak on behalf of my neighbours and friends in the East who grew up under the Eastern Bloc regime, which was governed by a somewhat different rhetoric. However, in 1990 they also joined the system that had been built in the West — for better or worse.)
Growing the GDP was our way to pull us out of the quagmire, the contempt, the devastation — and to regain acceptance around the world. It became our religion and our source of national pride and joy. And when it came to consumption patterns, we were more than happy to learn from our new North-American Ubervater.
I was more than surprised when I read earlier this month that one of these two countries might be making an attempt at changing course. After sixteen years of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship — over which history will cast a withering verdict, I am sure — we now have a new German government. In it, the ministry for the economy has given itself a new double-mandate to additionally serve as ministry for the climate, which didn’t exist before. At its helm sits Robert Habeck from the Green party. Only days ago, he presented the latest economic report of the Federal German Government. Large parts of it read like a manifesto to fight climate change. And crucially, one section outlines how Germany must evolve its concept of the ‘social market economy’ to a ‘social-ecological market economy’ — a process for which GDP will need to be taken off center stage and surrounded with a range of metrics that will be better suited for assessing whether or not the country is actually making progress.
Not quite the revolution yet – but the door is opening.
Going beyond GDP is no silver bullet and no miraculous cure. But to accept that this earth and the amounts of money we can extract from it are finite is an important first step. It shows that a socio-political system is (finally) acknowledging the physical realities of our world. Habeck has not (yet?) stated outright that in the global north we can no longer afford GDP growth. Nor that it logically follows that we must start talking about what is fair or acceptable in terms of social inequality — and do something about it, once we agree that our combined income cannot keep growing; alas, that it might actually start shrinking. But he seems willing to take the long overdue first step into a direction that will ultimately enable that conversation.
Initial press reactions seem to hang somewhere between curiously critical and critically curious. To be sure — Habeck’s initial draft was much more progressive and daring, it contained questions regarding the capitalist logic of our societies, or the sustainability of consumerism. But much of that has been sanded down by the inner-coalition debate with the other government parties before the actual report was published. As a matter of course, ‘decoupling’ becomes — once again — the solution for the unsolvable. And yet, Habeck was not shy to preempt the actual report by leaking parts of his proper vision to the public.
The USA, on the other hand, seem nowhere near taking that first step. Watching them go these days, it seems they might soon be moving into the opposite direction — all the while being not only the biggest player but also the referee and writer of rules for the global economy. That probably provides the most compelling argument for the countries that do understand all of this to join forces and be stronger together. With the WEGo initiative — begun in 2018 by visionary pioneers Scotland, Iceland and New Zealand — that solution is already implemented, and has since been reinforced by Finland and Wales. This must be turned into the next global alliance of governments that shows the world a new way: Politics is not about making more money, but about enabling better lives for people and for the planet. The time for that is now.
In the homeland of Nazism, many of us have a hard time feeling and expressing national pride. I personally consider national pride a waste of energy and a bane of humanity. And yet — if one day Germany joins the Wellbeing Economy Governments, I may actually give in and feel a little pride. If only for a minute.
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