Green Party Leader speaks at Hay Festival

Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas MP today called for a major shift in economic policy in order to tackle climate change, amid reports that global carbon emissions have hit an all-time high.

Caroline was speaking at the Hay Festival 2011 in Hay-on-Wye, at an event to mark the launch of a new edition of economist E.F. Schumacher’s 1973 influential work ‘Small is Beautiful’.

She said, “The climate crisis is the greatest security threat that we face.

“Governments need to find the will to put the global economy on the equivalent of a “war footing”, where the efforts of individuals, organisations, and government are harnessed and directed to the common goal of sustainable, low-carbon prosperity.

“It’s not that we don’t know what to do. It’s that the vast majority of politicians have neither the vision nor the commitment to do it.

“We found the billions required to bail out the banks almost overnight – that shows what is possible when the political will is there.”

Caroline continued, “Big business and the media give us a one-dimensional view of economics – one that simply assumes the growth of production and consumption is good and more growth is better.

“But we cannot grow indefinitely – we are already consuming two to three times what the planet can sustain. There’s no way we can continue down this path without causing catastrophic changes to the world’s climate.

“Only more radical policies based on personal carbon allowances and absolute caps on emissions, together with a shift away from intensive agriculture, serious investment in public transport and a relocalisation of our economies, will bring us closer to the kind of genuinely sustainable society that Schumacher envisages.”

Caroline was joined at this morning’s event by Andrew Simms, author and Fellow of nef (the new economics foundation) and Charlie McConnell, director of Schumacher College. More details are available at connell.aspx


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Holly Clark on June 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Be nice if Lucas actually spent some time in the city that elected her. There’s more chance of seeing Bigfoot, a Dodo and the Loch Ness Monster in Brighton than there is of seeing Caroline Lucas.


  2. I suppose we would all like to see our MPs on our doorstep all the time. I doubt Caroline spends less time in her constituency than any other party leader. In fact, from the look of her blog she probably spends considerably more time in her constituency than many high profile MPs. It looks to me like she’s very good at dividing her time between the constituency, and representing the people of Brighton in Parliament, and promoting Brighton whilst fulfilling her other responsibilities. You must be looking in the wrong places.


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