A new politics for the era of environmental breakdown


This report from UK think tank IPPR looks at new progressive political ideas in response to environmental breakdown.

Environmental breakdown is accelerating and poses an unprecedented threat to our political system. This system is a key enabler of environmental breakdown, the major drivers of which include chronic short-termism, a failure to recognise and act on systemic problems, and a failure to integrate environmental concerns throughout policy. This challenge comes at a time when our domestic political system has come under exceptional pressure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and decades of growing inequality. A new progressive politics in response to environmental breakdown is needed to achieve more sustainable, just and prepared outcomes at home and abroad. It is a politics that must enable a more productive, equal and sustainable relationship between the market and the state. It must prioritise – above all else and in response to the growing risk of global cataclysm – a rapid shift in the economic paradigm, bringing human activity to within environmentally sustainable limits while narrowing inequality, improving quality of life, and becoming better prepared for the accelerating consequences of environmental breakdown. It must be more democratic and accountable. More representative and diverse; more resilient and long-term. Accordingly, we develop proposals for a new model of domestic politics, one which is capable of better responding to environmental breakdown.

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