The Great Transition: A tale of how it turned out right

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by New Economics Foundation

Type: Report [title]
Published October, 2009
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Creating a new kind of economy is crucial if we want to tackle climate change and avoid the mounting social problems associated with the rise of economic inequality. The Great Transition provides the first comprehensive blueprint for building an economy based on stability, sustainability and equality.

This report argues that nothing short of a Great Transition to a new economy is necessary and desirable, and also possible.

Business as usual has failed. The financial crisis has exposed deep flaws in current approaches to economics. Economic liberalisation has not delivered rapid growth on a consistent basis, but has been characterised by booms and crashes. Nor has it delivered benefits to everyone: wealth has become concentrated in the hands of the few, with very little 'trickling down' to the world's poorest people. In developed countries, income inequality has increased, giving rise a range of social problems. Life satisfaction levels in developed countries is flatlining. Worst of all, the world is rapidly over-heating: the atmosphere cannot absorb the levels of CO2 being pumped into it for much longer without triggering irreversible climate change. The majority of the planet’s ecosystems are being pushed to breaking point.

We cannot afford to continue down this path. The Great Transition reveals trillions of pounds that climate change and inequality will cost the UK.

But we still have a chance to make things right. If we are willing to give up pursuing economic growth for the sake of something much better, for ourselves, for society and for our planet, we can tackle climate change and create a more equal and happy society.

This report sets out a range of practical measures on housing, business, taxation, property and energy policy to make the Great Transition we urgently need.